Guest Post #4: Time To Flee

My next guest poster is no stranger to the blog. Sean Brown from The Anarchist Project is one of my very favourite blogger friends. If you have yet to check out his stuff, you really should. He has the amazing ability of capturing everyday struggles and adventures in a wild and wonderful way. He inspires me with every word, to get up, get out, and make things happen. I really can’t say enough good stuff about the man, except that his travels have yet to take him to the East Coast.

So, strap yourself in and let Mr. Brown take you for a ride. You won’t be sorry.

Time To Flee by Sean Brown

It’s almost time to flee.  In less than a month I’ll have been here for a year, and I only meant to spend six months.  This city has become familiar though still not really home.  I’ve got some good friends here, though I still miss my friends back home. Everyone’s broke, but no one’s working that hard either.  People are complacent, and it’s making me complacent.  And I never felt comfortable being complacent.

Almost a year ago, I took an apartment in a rough section of the city. Not so much rough as rundown.  Junkies and gutter punks and winos. Lots of hard luck stories to go along with colorful tattoos.  They might panhandle a dollar for beer, but violence is relatively rare. And at the time I was angry.  I was motivated.  When I came here, I would have welcomed a fight.  I craved a fight.  The previous three years of my life had instilled a need to fight, to survive, to act out.  To get out.  To move, to burn, to bleed, to live.  To gasp and grasp and cling for once second of fresh air, for something pure, for anything authentic.  And over the last year, that’s slowly, but steadily been drained away.  Chipped away, and there isn’t much left.

This rundown section of the city has become comfortable, familiar, safe.  It doesn’t provide the same inspiration it did a year ago.  My neighborhood pub is still a mile away, and I still walk through a rich neighborhood to get there, but I don’t aspire to move into the rich neighborhood anymore.  I see them as pretentious and snobby, not worth my aspirations.  But that’s not right either.

A man in a black BMW almost hit me today, as I was walking to my bar. It wasn’t dark yet, and the man couldn’t have failed to see me.  I was a pedestrian, and it was my right of way, but the neighborhood was his, and I suppose that counts for something.  I was crossing the street, a small cobblestone street in the yuppie section of the city, complete with little boutiques and over priced coffee shops, forgettable restaurants that survive for six months next to condo rentals offices.  Always the condo rental offices.  The neighborhood is unique and Caucasian, an identical neighborhood can be found in every major urban area of the country.  So I’m crossing the street, this yuppie street, and I’ve got plenty of time, and plenty of room, and everything should be fine.  But not this time.  There’s a black BMW a block away, and somehow my presence has offended him.  He actually speeds up as I enter the cross walk.  Like he’s trying to scare me into running, or maybe he truly wants to hit me.  I continue my leisurely pace, as I should be across in plenty of time even though he’s stepped on the gas.  I turn to look as this guy; this would be assassin as he barrels down.  Perhaps this offends him even more because he shifts into a higher gear and increases his speed again, still straight at me.

The thing is, I know I’m in The Right.  I’m a pedestrian in a cross walk.  Legally, this asshole has to wait for me.  I am also acutely aware that a pedestrian will never come out victorious in a collision with a BMW.  More importantly, I have no health insurance.  I continue my stroll, now starring at the oncoming car, because this has turned more serious than a simple game of chicken.  This has turned into a Confrontation.  This is a class struggle.  This is David vs. The Asshole.  This is what’s wrong with the city; with every city.  We’re likely neighbors, this black BMW and I, and yet, he’s trying to kill me.  He can tell I that don’t belong on the west side of the Park Blocks, and my presence here offends his delicate sensibilities.  He’s aiming to send a message, to send me back to Oldtown, if not the hospital.

I step up onto the curb a moment before he passes, and stare hard.  I have a pocket full of change and I think for a minute about throwing a quarter through his rear window.  Maybe the whole handful as an act of revenge, to show him that BMWs don’t win every confrontation, even in this yuppie neighborhood.  In the end, I remember where I am, and who I am, and realize that using that pocketful of coins just to teach a lesson is something I can’t afford.  I’ve got to get out of this city before I do something stupid.

Crookers ft. Miike Snow – Remedy

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