The days are getting shorter, and I don't like it.
You all know me, right? If not, I wonder what you're doing reading this, except possibly to know me better. I come into work early - waking up at six to leave at seven to arrive at eight. And I also like to listen to iGor as I travel. It's something for my brain to do while walking.
Now, iGor is my second iPod, as you probably know. The first, iBob, was a Hogswatch present in my first year, and lasted for a whole two years before going funny. Before then, I'd severely fallen out of the habit of listening to personal stereos. My CD player still sits in a drawer in my bedroom at the InnerRents, and I have no idea how well it works or not.
You see, the thing is, I was listening to my CD player (Guns N Roses, Appetite for Destruction) in 2000when I was attacked. That attack left me for a short time with agoraphobia, specifically nyctophobia, and an aversion to walking with headphones in. (Also an aversion to any of the songs on the album. Metro cured me of that one.)
As an anecdote, a few days (weeks?) afterwards, die Schwester and I were trying to cohabit at the InnerRents, and she and I got into an argument about putting the rubbish out. It's no big deal, you take the bag out the back door, around the side of the house, and return. Takes about thirty seconds. but we were still arguing, because we're sisters, and that's the kind of thing you fight about. And honestly? I think she was more frustrated by my absolute refusal to do it than anything else.
I can't remember if I took it out or not; I honestly can't. But either way, when she finally asked me why it was such a big deal and I said: "because I don't like walking in the dark!", I think I broke her.
I carry a lot of guilt about the shit my family went through because of the attack. It's just easier to worry about how they feel then myself.
Walking in the dark for the first time was a big milestone for me. I was so damn proud of myself, I can tell you. And then there was the first time I walked home alone from a club (it was Crazy Nites, so we're talking five minutes down the well lit Euston Road at 2.30am). SO DAMN PROUD. Nevertheless, where possible I like to travel home with people. There were areas I wasn't comfortable with walking down alone, still amn't, really. I won't go to the Ballroom unless someone's going to at least wait for the bus with me. Mostly that's kind of common sense, I like to think.
Still, headphones made me nervous. I just didn't think of it as a thing that was necessary to my lifestyle, really. So I didn't bother with my CD player, and let it languish at the 'rents. Right up until someone invented the portable mp3 player, and I was overcome with shinylust. I wanted this thing that would hold my entire music collection and play them all on shuffle all day and I could use at work and did I mention the entire music collection thing? So I asked for one for Hogswatch, and I got one.
At first I used iBob just for listening to at work, and on the train to work (I was living at the 'rents and commuting in). Then I began to pick up using him while walking, sometimes through Hyde Park after dark. (This is about 4 years after the attack, so.)
When I moved into Chateau des Goths with I&D, I was still clubbing regularly, but not with them, so was coming home from clubs regularly on my own as a matter of course. At first it didn't even occur to me to listen to iBob walking through Finsbury Park and Crouch End listening to headphones, but eventually I started to do it anyway, balancing out my fear with an increased awareness of my surroundings and a confident walk (sometimes dancing to my music. It made me feel better, and you know what? Walking home in the wee hours of the morning, with my music blasting and my head up? It's empowering, in its small little way.
In fact, I greatly surprised my therapist when I said how I could do this. I think she was a bit freaked out in general with how well adjusted I am about sex. (Considering how emotionally immature I am, I believe she mentioned)
Anyway, so the reason I give you this background?
It was dark when I left the house this morning, listening to iGor as you do. As I was walking down the road, two men came up behind me on either side. They were walking a little faster than me, so catching up and overtaking took a few seconds, but it was on either side of me and they were very close when I noticed them. And that? FREAKED ME THE FUCK OUT.