I feel so safe tonight. Walking down Clark and I can not find a reason
to cling to my self and it seems so different. I am not afraid for the
first time. Everything is as it should be. Individuals moving beside me,
acknowledging my presence and moving on. And I feel specific here, and
encouraged. The people say, "hello," the bartenders ask about me, the patrons
look at me differently, and inquire.
I was looking for quiet acceptance, an acceptance without definition
and I believe I got it. There is no judgement here, only curiosity. I can
eat dinner and drink alone without preconceived notions; I am not
something to be pitied. I am just another patron with a story. And
I am not the only one. Back in Louisiana I could feel the eyes. The
people thinking how alone I must feel. But I never really felt alone.
I know full well how to function independently. I'm a survivor of sorts,
and I'm beginning to lose that identity. And that's okay here. Nobody
sees that in my eyes, they only see the blue-grey confusion and watch my mouth.
They listen to me here, and I feel less vulnerable than I should. The
streets are accepting of me and don't ask questions. I pass through, not
unnoticed, but acknowledged. Like they know who I am and create
the path before me.
I suppose back home I felt like that my persona was nothing more than a dream
that left ridged memories in a person's sequence of bad dreams. Chicago makes me
new, unjudged, and nothing more than myself. Anonymity creates a drive to be someone
more than I've ever been capable of being. Vague, yes, I know. But, tonight I had
dinner at the D.O.C. and met the bartender and the people sitting next to me. And
I never felt lonely dining alone.
And then I walked home. Down a relatively busy street and felt more safe than
I've ever felt shuffling through Louisiana. And that's not a negative to my homestate,
it's just a different perception I've been unaccustomed to experiencing. When noone
knows you, they just take you to be unblemished, new, and worthy of investigation here
in Lincoln Park. It's a surprising lesson I was surprised to have defined in such a large city.
All you can do is inquire about a person, preconceived notions are of no value. We are
what we are. Not pitiable creatures, rather striking characters moving throughout space
waiting for just the right inquiry.