That could explain why I have spent so much time at home the past year.I arrived in Charleston, South Carolina Wednesday evening and took a nice walk to check out the area.I kept my gaze very much forward so as not to engage.When the suit did finally engage, it was pleasant enough and he didn’t ask personal questions or make comments that made me feel uncomfortable.I turned my back to him and settled my attention on the musicians at the front of restaurant, feeling the music waft through my body. My neighbor let me be for a bit, but it wasn’t long before he asked from behind if he could buy me a drink!I told him “.” He tried to cover by saying that the establishment gives him free drinks, so he feels the need to pay it forward.
It was certainly a comment meant to lend him credence. Needless to say, he gradually found more and more ways to work his way into my silence. Now, he was a pretty meek, unattractive older man, so my mind played awful tricks on me, wondering if perhaps he was being facetious, and I should laugh with him at his expense. I alternately wondered how on earth how I was going to tell him he was freaking me out (or that I was freaked out in the more NVC way of stating his), or trying to remember how often I had been in a similar position, or wondering if this really was as wrong as it felt to my mood, my body, my sense of safety in the world. We live in a society where for me to be direct and state my disinterest directly would have caused a scene and would have become even more uncomfortable.
Somehow, I happened upon a very cool little place called “5 Church” on Market St.
I was lulled in by the music, originally thought it was actually a church, until I saw the dinner table outside.
And time slowed down, as I paused to take in the soft warm lights, the long table filling the entire middle of the room, angel wings disguised as lights hanging over the bar, and above them a cathedral ceiling full of white writing on a black background.
On the right side, the largest words were “There Is Only We,” one word per panel, and on the left side “The Art of War,” and in between what must have been a decent portion of .