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Walking on Moonshine

Just kidding, there was no moonshine. But there was alcohol ... and a slight disagreement. 

To start this off, everything is okay. It was, as most things are, a simple misunderstanding and differences in point of view. But a startling revelation. 

It was late one night. Though not past two am, late enough that nothing good would happen. My partner was hungry, refusing all the meager food I could offer, and a little tipsy. Since our schedules don't line up, our 'Fridays' rarely fall on the same nights. So while one of us was ready for bed, the other was not. I'll admit regardless of the situation I'm a 'worst case scenario' type of person. If there is a horrible death to imagine, I've already thought of the cause, or five. 

Back to the hungry intoxicated man. Luckily, we have Cookout in walking distance from our new abode and someone was ready to walk the 12 minutes to get fatty treats. I was not. Not only did I say no, but I didn't want him to leave. I even said 'you're going to stress me out, please don't go'. But he did. And not 30 seconds after he left, I was overly worried and running after him. Several ways for his less-than-sober ass to die flashing through my head. 

Now the neighborhood we live in is pretty ritzy. However, we live hidden in the back, in the cheaper homes, near the less than ideal living conditions. The only reason I would leave my house at that hour to walk through that neighborhood was to chase down the partner I already thought dying. Even though the fear of him dying was outweighing my fear of the area, I still felt incredibly uncomfortable. In my lack of time, I had run out without my useless dead phone, in short pajama shorts. My only focus was to get to Cookout. Then my partner and I could peacefully walk home. Well, that was the plan anyway. 

After seeing my blissfully unaware partner peddle up on his bike, I snapped at him to get off the road. Least his drunk ass and dark bike get blindly run over by someone driving at this hour.  He took it as ride home as fast as you can. Leaving me to walk all the way home alone. Not 3 minutes later an old van drove up beside me, slowing down just ahead of me and stopping. Then it slowly turned back around to me. It took everything I had not to run away. My little feet did start to walk as fast as they could though, and the gentleman making the u-turn probably thought me a foolish girl. I use to be able to use my short hair to hopefully pass as a guy, but those shorts were a bit too short. 

By the time I got to our block, all of 12 minutes after this started, I was furious and slightly scared. My partner tried to talk to me as we walked back to the house, but I wasn't having it. He even offered me food. For the next few minutes as I cried, I tried to figure out if I was more angry at him for scaring me or happy to see him. Torn between kicking him out of bed and clinging to him for dear life. On the other hand, he thought I was being absurd and just needed to go to bed. It wasn't until I mentioned that I couldn't believe he left to walk alone that I realize how little of a deal he thought it was.

In my mind, walking alone at dark is just something you don't do, especially in that kind of neighborhood. So I thought he was drunk and making a poor decision. Something the sober person should stop. But even the next day, clear-headed and still confused, he didn't find it a big deal at all. 

I've been raised and taught by my parents, teachers, resident leaders, upper-class women, or random ads not to walk alone. Not only did I buy pepper spray freshman year of college, but I was shown how to hold my keys between my knuckles if I decided to walk home from the library alone. At work, a 5-minute walk from my dorm, my boss would often ask the next delivery guy to take me home. For me, it's just a fact. You do not walk alone at night. 

My partner, a male, was not raised like this. It wasn't that he was trying to scare me, or trying to piss me off. He just simply didn't see it as a thing. At all. 

It blows my mind how something like this was ingrained into me, but not him. There are things I expect to be different between our rearings, like my education on how to avoid rape (a whole other topic entirely). But I hadn’t thought this was a difference. It’s just something you. don’t. do. Period.

This is now known as the ‘cookout incident’.