On the El tonight in a car by myself. Black youth boards with hooded eyes;scruffy beard; wearing sagging pants. He sits across from me putting his feet up on the empty seat. I wonder if he’ll harass or rob me. I reach in my purse for my mace.
Muslimish looking man boards wearing dark sunglasses & carrying a black back pack backwards. He sits to my left and stares in my direction. I wonder if I will survive a direct blast if he detonated a suicide bomb. I contemplate getting off at the next stop “just in case.”
A white youth boards, dirty clothes, oily hair head down and hands deep in sweat shirt pockets. He sits right next to me (in this nearly empty car) I look to see if there’s a patterned steel outline and wonder if I can reach the connecting door quick enough if he starts shooting.
The reality is the black youth was listening to his headphones not worrying about me. The Muslimish man was Indian and probably practiced Hindu nothing remotely terroristic about him except his hue and the white youth had a tick or tremor of some sort and was probably just trying to make it through his day.
I have post traumatic stress disorder from one horrifying incident six years ago.
I understand this from a pragmatic standpoint.
Counselors have given me coping skills to combat the minefields planted in my head; but it is hard to overcome when all I see everyday are the numerous ways in which one human being can hurt or harm another.
I tell myself it’s all in my head until headline news manages to convince me otherwise.
I live a constant battle of mind over matter simply because to some minds all lives don’t matter.