She's strolling down the black street in tan shoes that she's always thought were a little too heavy for her feet. The streetlights that line Washington Avenue cast yellow light haphazardly out into the wet autumn air. Downtown Minneapolis smells like car exhaust and fried foods, popcorn and gasoline. She turns and walks up a street to her regular bus stop in order to catch the bus that goes down University every ten minutes or so. It is dark out and she is feeling nervous. She worked late tonight, trying to get part of a project done so that she wouldn't have to go over it all again tomorrow. She is tired of that part of the project.
Being a small female, she is inconspicuous to most people who pass by. But she thinks of the type of men who lurk in the shadows and prey on the small and defenseless. She doesn't usually worry, but every now and then she catches herself in the mirror and senses what could happen.
She wishes she had some pepper spray in her pocket. It makes sense to have some sort of protection, she thinks. Not a characteristic thought for her, but the dark coldness of the urban night feels tinged with danger for some reason. She stands, hunched into herself at the bus stop, trying to exude an empty feeling, trying to shapeshift into a blob with no distinguishable sexual characteristics.
The bus whizzes by without stopping, splashing a little dirty slush onto her newly laundered pants.
What the fuck was that, she thinks in disbelief. The disbelief slowly turns into a smoldering rage at the world. Why the fuck didn't the bus stop for me? Her thoughts go around and around in circles.
She starts to walk home, over the bridge that spans the Mississippi River. She was really counting on getting into that warm bus to help shake her crazy feelings of personal danger, but now her senses are on heightened alert and she is simply afraid, too tired to keep it together. Every noise is a maniac in the bushes ready to pounce. Her fear is slightly ambivalent now, as it all seems like a dream.
Design Process and International Project Case Studies -
2 weeks ago