there's this story circulating around town. a story in which two girls who were walking home late last wednesday night, november 5th, were attacked by a pack of men on a side street off fullerton. one of the girls got away, ran up the street into a conveniently close hostel and roused a gang of internationals to go back and rescue the other girl. everybody lived. some money, bracelets and a really cute purse were lost. the writer's conclusion is that we should always take cabs and should not carry big bags or go out after dark.
it's great to read a story like that, put together all the coordinates and realize it was set on the street where you live.
last night on the train, during violent tales story time, LM and i talked about this. we pieced together that this story had been passed to us both as something that had happened to a friend of a friend. we quickly dismissed it as an urban legend.
a girl across the car quickly chimed in it wasn't. she had heard this too. she also lived on that street. and like pretty much everyone alive of a certain age and income bracket in chicago, she often stayed out too late and walked home alone rather than pay for cabs. we had all heard it, she said, so it had to be true.
i don't know if this actually happened. it probably did, but what are we supposed to do with it? a barrage of emails from friends who were apparently also friends of this friend's friends hit my inbox warning me to leave my leopard print bag at home. the concern was touching, but that isn't really an option. a day's worth of snacks will not fit in a clutch.
in a token nod to personal safety, this morning i tossed the good old mace into my ginormous bag, but since i'm not entirely sure how to operate it this was more about giving myself the appearance of having worried about my safety rather than an indicator of actual worry.
because it's lincoln park, not cabrini green. and that's a cop-out, i know, but this is where we live and you can't truly live if you spend every minute freaking out about spooks in the dark.
that girl on the train said she was now afraid to leave her apartment after 5 p.m. it was 5:22 when she said this. walking home, i saw her. she was running down the street like a banshee, looking over her shoulder, deathly afraid.