I live in Washington and let me tell you, the city has really gone down the drain in recent years. I used to be able to walk late at night without much worry, now I get a bit paranoid whenever I’m outside my house past seven. Call me a pussy or whatever, but the truth is that things aren’t the same anymore.
The reason why I sound so spiteful is that I was a victim of the city’s changes. I always enjoyed jogging to stay in shape and catch some fresh air. My favorite time of the day to do this was at dawn. I would usually stick to the parts of town I know and never stray too far from home, but that night was different. I decided to go further and see how things looked on foot rather than as a set of blurry buildings from my car.
I was really enjoying myself to the point where I might have gone a little too far, I ended up going a couple miles away from home, on foot. I thought it would be simple enough to walk back, but my body said otherwise. I had already hit my wall while jogging and I was reduced to a slow walk back home, it was during this walk that I came across the most colorful aspect of my city.
A man ran up to me with a switch-blade, he simply put it under my throat and said “Give me your money or I’ll fuck you up!” I looked around my pockets for whatever I had, thinking it wouldn’t be enough. I never carried a wallet when I went jogging and my money came down to a standard cab fare in case I needed. He just took it and ran away, I thought I had gotten lucky to make it out alive so I forced myself to walk faster to my home.
My idea of a safe area was completely shattered that day, I wasn’t even four miles away from home and I got robbed. I thought it would be better to just sit down and call someone to come pick me up, that was a bad idea.
This jittery mess of a man came out of nowhere as soon as I pulled out my cell phone. He ripped it from my hand saying “Give me that shit!” He started fiddling with it while yelling into the receiver and casually walked away.
I had never been mugged in my life, making it so that night was a record breaker. Not only had my life been threatened and my phone stolen, but I also hurt myself running the last leg towards safety. I can no longer go out at night without thinking someone’s going to get me so close to my own home. The city is still nice and I try to drive wherever I go but going on foot stopped being an option, just like wearing skinny jeans now that my body lost the only exercise keeping my gut in check.