The week before the election, I had splitting migraines. I couldn't get enough sleep, I couldn't wear dark enough sun glasses. Everyone said it was stress, but I knew deep down I was horrified for the election. I spent all of Saturday, Nov 5th driving hours all over LA- debating to mail my absentee or go in person to vote early. I ended up mailing my ballot, but still drove for hours anyway.
Monday, Nov 7th, I woke up and was convinced exercising would help, so I went for a morning run. I was walking up to my boyfriend's apartment in Hollywood, staring at Facebook on my phone, as we all do, when I heard a voice, "come on, hurry along." I looked up to see a young homeless white man who appeared to be tweaking out on drugs. His tone was rough and his eyes were ablaze demanding my attention.
I told myself what I, and almost every woman, have had to tell herself many times: keep calm, you could be in danger, but you must keep calm. I looked back at my phone and acted like he wasn't there. I approached the building door and realized I didn't have the key, I was locked out. The tweaker laughed and took a step towards me. I remained focused on my phone, texting my boyfriend but it was 7am and he was still asleep. The tweaker took another step towards me and I turned to him and told him to fuck off and get away from me. He stared back at me not going anywhere. At this point I was praying that another person from the building would open the door. Even if so, I knew I might have to fight the tweaker off and prevent him from entering the building. I dialed my boyfriend and could hear the tweaker taunt, "go ahead, call him". My boyfriend didn't pick up.
From around the corner, four huge black men came walking up, appearing to be homeless as well. These men were huge and I felt myself become even more afraid, what if they started taunting me too, what if they were friends with the tweaker and I was in real trouble? My mind was beginning to race when from the chaos I heard, "is he bothering you?"
Mine and the tweaker's back were to the four men, our fronts' facing the door. Keeping my body facing the door I turned my head and saw that one of the four men, the tallest of them all, sporting a trench coat and dreads, was standing there, listening and waiting. I nodded my head yes.
All four men proceeded to yell at the tweaker, "that's no way to treat women", "you can't come up on women like that" and to "leave her alone." The tweaker stared back until my new found hero started to come after him, ready to fight. Only then, did the tweaker back off and walk away from me. "Why are you picking on me?" He feebly pleaded, "get out of here", they retorted. The men stood planted as they made sure the tweaker went up the street.
I stared back, still guarded but very grateful. "Thank you so much guys," my voice was monotone but I was sincere.
"It ain't shit," my hero responded, "I got a ma and sisters and I'm from Chicago so I think differently."
"Well thank you again, I mean it". The men just nodded and waited until I got back into the building before walking off. I remember feeling, for a moment, that things would be okay. Even if the unthinkable happens, I know there are some good people out there.
On Tuesday Nov 8th, I wept openly at a bar as the unthinkable happened. I felt like a District 12 resident as the TV screen turned red and announced President-Elect Donald Trump. Since that night, I find it hard to believe I did not enter a parallel universe of my worse nightmare. I was hoping for the first woman president, and instead got the worse offender to women.
The one thing that does give me peace of mind, was the kindness and sense of protection my new-found hero gave me in the street that day. What moves me about the experience is he did not have to help me. Him and his friends were black men in the city, it's very possible they could have gotten in trouble for helping me out. There was no real reason for them to help me, but they did, and saved me from who knows what.
On December 28th, I opened an account at First Entertainment Credit Union. I have transferred my job's direct deposit to this new account as well and as soon as the transfer is complete, I intend on closing my Wells Fargo Account. When they ask why, I'll let them know that you can't drink oil #nodapl.
Does the Dakota Access Pipeline really affect me? No, not really. However, now's the time to help even if you are untapped. We must help each other, even if it means inconvenience or maybe even trouble. This administration has shown signs they have no intention of doing their jobs: therefore, we must inherit the safety of each other.
Though now we have the luxury of helping, even if we ourselves are not in danger; however, that may soon be fleeting too. They have already gone after our women's rights, they are in talks of cutting our social security and medicare, and we know Pence has a personal interest in stripping gay rights... don't wait for your issue to be in danger. Let's Lin- Manuel this bitch and Rise Up and then after that we'll Maya Angelou and Still Rise.
I think we can all begin by moving to a reliable Credit Union #bankexit.