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TALES OF AN ORANGEPEELER

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11.23.04, tuesday evening

Ever since my bike has been busted for the past week, I have discovered how much I hate walking. Well, I like walking beside the ocean and to pier-ends and through parks and libraries . . . but if another driver honks his horn at me and slows down again, I will lob a big rock through his fuckin' window, jeez.

Walking home from the train station, I think about all the girls who hafta walk home from work when they don't have enough money for bus fare. I think about the girl who had fled into the New World one night, scared of the men who were following her. I think about the girls whose photos I saw on flyers posted at the Oakland Police Dept., girls who are scowling or smiling, girls who are described as "last seen", last seen stepping out for what their families thought would be a moment. I think about how violence against women happens across class lines, color lines, and in all cultures . . . and sometimes I only think about how the truly safe creatures in the city are the pigeons cooing in the shitstained undersides of freeway overpasses.

I should enjoy my walk home. I should enjoy the sight of boysenberry bushes entwining barbed wire fence. I should enjoy the railroad tracks and the sound of whipped wind as mourning doves flee the clip-clop of my shoes. I should enjoy the brisk air, the light the setting sun throws on the world. But no, I am hearing the honking cars that will inevitably slow down and I am angry at them and at all men, even my partner, who take for granted their privilege to move about so freely on foot and the assurance, however tenuous, that they could make it home safely if they had to walk.





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