There are precious few constants in my life. One such gem is the unceasing fear that I will be murdered. Seriously. Un. Ceasing.
As a child, one of my chores was to lug the trashcans back up to the house from their please-pick-up-slash-dump-our-pounds-of-refuse position on the sidewalk. In short, Tuesdays served as a weekly helping of severe petrification. I would crack open the back door of our house, scan the yard for strangers, then take off in a full sprint down the driveway - ears pricked and peripheral vision in full effect. Once in reach of the trashcans, I would deliver a solid kick to each. Why? To see if anyone was hiding in them, waiting to jump out and stab me. Duh.
I check beneath my car and in my back seat before getting behind the wheel…I check behind the shower curtain whenever I enter a bathroom…I have been known to walk home with 911 already dialed into my BlackBerry, just in case of unexpected emergency.
Point being, I don’t need to be convinced that rapists and murderers walk the same streets as my adorable little (for my height) feet. I’m already a true believer. Unfortunately, our nightly news is full of heartless souls who seem to have nothing better to do than to terrify our nation’s adult children with stories of tragic deaths and warnings of impending doom. Shortly after moving into my new apartment, it was reported that - not two blocks from my happy Beverly Hills home - a young woman was pulled into a construction zone, raped, and murdered. Right. So I won’t be sleeping for the next seven months or so. Also, where’s my mace?
Apparently, the powers that be didn’t feel like this was quite enough of a heads up.
A few days later, as I was walking down Robertson Blvd., a middle-aged woman waved to get my attention. Thinking she needed directions or something of the sort, I paused and removed my headphones.
Random Woman: ”A good girlfriend of mine just told me there’s a rapist around here. He just raped someone last week!”
Me: ”OMG, I heard about that! So scary!”
Random Woman: ”Oh. (pause) Well. (pause) Because you’re dressed a little….” (Full, slow-motion down and up scan of my general person.)
And then she walked away.
It’s always nice to know your neighbors care?
My 'asking for it' ensemble can be seen (sort of) in the photo above. I’m on the right. Also, I hate people.