I’ve lived in a relatively small town for the past 18 years. It’s a place that looks charming and beckons people to visit. It’s quite beautiful. It’s been documented in many books and been in many movies. People have written songs about it and flock here every year. But there is a darker side to this seemingly quaint and quiet Southern town.
Crime is very high. Being a college town, there are plenty of potential targets for would-be thieves. The college, a prestigious private art university, attracts students from around the globe. This equates to “a bunch of rich kids” around here. A fact that is not entirely accurate; I attended this same school and was far from a “rich kid.” But this poses a problem. These kids are held up at gunpoint a lot of the time. It seems that this is the only way the perpetrators of these crimes know how to operate. There is no etiquette. They have no charisma. Most of them think of themselves as tough or in control. That they are, by some stretch of the imagination, a man. They are wrong.
Going around and wagging guns at scared kids doesn’t make you tough. It definitely doesn’t make you a man. It does make you one thing; a fucking coward. Any mother would be ashamed to call someone like that a son, much less a man.
They are out there; these so-called men. Lurking in the shadows, waiting for a group of defenseless kids, or accosting a mother who’s trying to carry groceries into her house; busting through peoples’ doors, demanding things they have no right to.
All I know is that everyone should be on the lookout. Take precautions to protect yourselves. Be smart about where you go and what you do. Anything can happen. There is darkness in all this beauty.