April 16. 2000
God, what a completely useless day it was.
I piddle, check my email every five minutes (damn ethernet), I eat lots of junk food, I clean, I sit down briefly to brainstorm ideas for the rest of my 3d project, I contemplate the brand new mirror purchased at Home Depot yesterday. I stare at it and realize how much weight I have gained. I resolve to hit the Y as soon as I get home.
The only Mildly Interesting thing to happen today was a terrific thunderstorm mid-afternoon. I love thunderstorms, I think they're extremely romantic, atmospheric and wonderful. Like nature is finally gathering all her power and saying, "hello, here I am." The thunderstorm did nothing to relieve the humidity that hung in the air most of the day, much to my chagrin. I hate that dampness clinging to my skin feeling. Tis not nice.
I did venture out to Rite Aid during the storm amid the heavy lightening and rain. Which brings me to another rant. I really hate this neighborhood with a passion. Cheltenham is just not a nice place to live, at all. One side of Cheltenham Ave is Philadelphia County, the other is Montgomery County, which is the side I live on. The Philadelphia side is almost entirely black and lower class. The Montgomery side is mostly white and a lot more affluent. This kind of class division really makes me sick. The difference is even more pronounced if you go up a mere mile or two on Route 309, and it turns into a mecca of large superstores and big warehouse outlets of all shapes and sizes. And everyone up there is white. A difference of a mile or two is urban poverty and suburban sprawl. I still haven't gotten over it.
I really hate Cheltenham. I hate having security cameras trained on me whenever I go grocery shopping. I hate having to look over my shoulder. And most of all, as horrible as it may sound, I hate being the only white person wherever I am. I guess you can call me a racist then or whatever, but it's hard dealing with it when you grew up somewhere all white. Whenever I go up to a place on 309, it's like being home again. It's new, it's pleasant, it's suburban, and I feel safe.
I hate saying all this, because I'm sure it's going to paint me some kind of spoiled white suburban kid, which although I fit the criteria, it's not something I aspire to be. To be put honestly, black people make me nervous. I don't know why, I wish I could cut this feeling out of me, but it's there, in the back of mind, nonetheless.
I was going back to my car last night on South Street. I had many things in my arms, including the full length mirror I had bought at Home Depot. I set it against car, began digging and fumbling for my keys. Dammit, I should have had them in my hand, I thought. I saw in my peripheral vision a black guy walking toward. I tensed and got nervous. This is when it's going to happen, Bethany, I thought, you're going to get mugged. He passed me by. If this guy was white, would have I had this reaction? I don't think so.