10 Sep

There’s a moment when you transfer from startled to scared – a moment that marks you. A moment that stays with you when you close your eyes, a moment that makes you grip your knuckles a little whiter and check over your shoulder a few times more.

I was under no impression that life in Grenada would be a breeze — going to school in New York makes you wary of the normative sketches of people, poor communities even, yes, muggings. But there is a deeper unknown to being so far from home — to not having a safehouse to return to. I’m always in Grenada. Walking down my dorm hallway from the laundry room at night in the deserted hallway, covering the mere forty feet difference that passes an open glass door the world can see me through .. my heart is racing.

And I blame this on the six idiotic, though probably poor and disadvantaged gentlemen — probably not much older than I am — that I was surrounded by, at a huge parade with easily hundreds of people. Upon trying to shove my way out, my clutch was yanked — hard. That is the moment I’m talking about — the yank I can feel through my twitching muscles when I close my eyes and remember, the pull of tendons, the reflexive adrenaline and anger that yanked back, the immediate fear that descended.

Do you think they knew the fear that would cause my limbs to shake until rum dulled the adrenaline? Did they know I would loathe the island at night and have an immediate distrust of any native man who approaches me on the island? Know that I would shake as I’m hit on, spoken to, complimented, clutching my ID and money behind my back?

Did they know what they were doing? Did they mean to?

I want to believe not. I’ve been taught not. I have to believe not, if I want to move forward, right? I should believe they’re a product of the shitty, poor atmosphere and culture of the island, products of thousands of years of oppression — slavery and rebellion — war, poverty, famine. People who are happy, and satisfied — they do not mark others in this way. Not by petty theft, by mugging, by trying to take what’s not theirs by force. Are these excuses?

Fuck you, I should have said. I wanted to say. As if they were entitled. Fucking entitled to marking and paralyzing other by fear — removing dignity. Fuck. You. Anger has returned to replace fear. Anger for it happening — anger for not having yet worked through it.

I’m still scared.

Still angry, I’m still saddened by the circumstances which have led to their feeling that stealing is the best possible current option.

Maybe I should have let it go.


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