Contrast

Oh, London. One day you amaze me with the beauty of your residents (see last post). The next day you remind me of why I can fear such residents. In great contrast to my Friday morning, my Sunday morning started off with a horrible interaction with a Londoner (with a German accent, but let's call him a Londoner for the sake of convenient comparison). I live on Brixton Hill down the street from The Fridge Bar. Now when I was 16 or 17 I used to go to the Fridge and Dogstarr and other Brixton haunts on weekend escapes from boarding school. Although Brixton was dodgier 12 years ago (yes, I just gave away my age) I remember the bars as amazing, but either my drunken memory fails me or they really were amazing and times have since changed. I think the Fridge has actually been shut down a few times since then, but it's like a cat with nine lives. Anyway, this place is open from 4am to 11am on weekend nights, which is basically a direct invitation for anyone high on blow and molly to continue their night of raging. As I was walking up Brixton Hill at 8:30 on a Sunday morning (don't judge me, I'm an early to bed, early to rise sort of person these days) a wobbling man walked towards me. As he approached he asked me "Hey! What direction are you going in?" (in a very slurred voice). As I side-stepped him he grabbed my arm rather aggressively and as I tried to get away he pushed me against a wall. Luckily, he was so messed up that I slipped away rather easily and he stumbled away as I swiftly proceeded up the path.

The thing is that I shook it off emotionally rather quickly. But then a day later I was walking on Portobello Road and a man was being very aggressive with an older lady. She had told him off for peeing on the street and exposing his man parts and he was yelling at her and getting in her face saying "it was an emergency!" and she was talking back to him. Now I was walking right past and I couldn't figure out which response I wanted: fight or flight. Luckily, a man with a dog came to the defense of the woman and I felt comfortable walking away, but it triggered in me massive anxiety and recall about my experience the day before.

Brixton has become much safer and I hate to bring this up, because I wouldn't want to scare anyone away. But at the same time, Portobello Road is a classy neighbourhood these days and the same thing was about to happen there. Moral of the story: attacks can happen anywhere at any time. I just have to remember that, in contrast to Bermuda, I need to be on my guard. I've been assaulted before, I will be again. It's the sad truth of being a woman. But I refuse to distress myself with dark imaginings (see Desiderata).

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Alphabet Years: A is where the adventure begins

The Ballad of March Forth

Elyse + Andrew