When traveling home late at night, alone, it is widely regarded as a stupid decision to drive through what is known as a very dangerous neighborhood on a beautiful night.
I am even one of those people who would regard that as stupid.
But when roads are closed and you just want to get home and you have a momentary mental blank spot on where the road you are choosing actually leads... you become stupid.
And then you wise up. Real quick like.
And this is what that wising up looks like:
You look around and you feel your cheeks start to burn.
You say a bad word under your breath.
As you roll to the stoplight, of course it's red, you slink down real low in your seat barely peeking out over the steering wheel.
Your palms sweat.
You want to call your husband but are afraid to light up your face with the back light of the phone.
You pray out loud, "Lord please change the light, please change light, please change the light," as a low rider pulls up next to you.
Your eyes dart to the sides of the street where men are gathered.
You actually think to yourself "I really don't want to be raped or killed tonight."
You exhale when the light finally changes.
You drive quickly, contemplating blowing every stop sign and light thereafter.
You give in and call your husband saying with quavering voice "Honey, I just want you to know where I am in case something happens."
You listen to your husband say a bad word.
And then you see the end of the scary neighborhood and you don't see anymore scary people lurking on sidewalks and street corners.
An apology for the bad word.
A little scolding from your husband when you get home.
And a hug, too.
Tip for today: don't be so hurried that you become stupid.