An * indicates that the name of a person or activity has been changed to protect the innocent, or to make you think that when I run* I am possibly gazelle-like, rather than hyperventilating after a block and trying not to throw up.
My neighborhood is by no means on the list of worst places I’ve ever lived, but over the last year there’s been a steady uptick in car and home break-ins. I can’t decide who to blame– MegaBig Hospital for buying all the houses in the neighborhood and leaving them empty, or my remaining neighbors who are frankly too fucking lazy to keep a constant watch on things, now that Tom* is gone. (This is another lie, I do that sometimes. My neighbors are lovely. The ones who are left.)
We do have a really active neighborhood message board, which is a good place to tally up the break-ins, missing cats, and skunk sightings. Once, I saw two deer walking through our neighborhood, which is definitely not wooded or rural, but I didn’t report it to the neighborhood board, because I’m pretty sure Brian* would have complained about how the neighborhood is going to hell when two teenaged deer think they can just walk around all willy-nilly or park in the street. Brian* sucks. ANYWAY.
What’s important here is that my partner thinks I am going to DIE every time I go for my morning
walk run* while it’s still dark. I don’t know if you know this, but I get up really early. Still dark early. There are maybe four days in the entire year when it is light out at the time I rise. So I always walk in the dark. Don’t be afraid, sexy, bearded, life partner! I have a plan to help me stay alive while I am running* so I can come home filled with a sense of accomplishment and purpose, and fuck his whole morning up by getting in the way.
Weapons for Running in the Dark
- Did you know that you can use your keys to stab someone in the face? Right in their shitty, attacking you while you’re running* face. If you get that squicky something is wrong feeling I suggest taking out and holding your house key(s) so they splay between your knuckles Wolverine-style, and then do what you need to do to stay alive. I also highly recommend shrieking at the top of your lungs, so you can deafen and blind them at the same time.
- A water bottle might not be something you need to get through a run (yeah, ok CHERYL*, I’m glad you run marathons a lot), but consider this– a full water bottle swung by the handle is practically a mace. Do you know what you can do to someone with a mace? Exactly. And really, isn’t hydration important anymore?
- A dog, if you’re into that, is a good deterrent for would be scary sumbitches. You know what isn’t at all a good pet in this situation? My lazy fucking cat, sitting back at home in the warm spot I left on the couch because he’s too good to wear a leash and go running* with me. Cats are garbage. (I love you, kitty, I love you!)
- Take a friend. Especially a friend who is NOT thrilled about being up early/late and is harboring a grudge against you that just needs to be unleashed appropriately. Just wake them up, they won’t mind, and drag them out there with you, because exercise is good for everyone, friend, especially if you don’t die.
Here’s the thing: I am super pissed that I think about this stuff the whole time I’m running* in my neighborhood, in the dark, by myself, which is something I otherwise really like. It’d be a lot better if I didn’t feel compelled to look behind me, only wear one headphone, and worry about being murdered/yelled at/fucking catcalled before the sun is even up, followed, and so on. It’s bullshit, and no matter how much humor I try to approach it with, I hate being afraid to go for a run*. Especially since a Jimothy once helpfully pointed out that running would make me less fat, and we all know I care about that shit.
But my sexy, bearded life mate would be pretty pissed if I didn’t take precautions, so I’ve stolen all of his keys so I can go full Wolverine if I must. Safety first, people.