I was in a large building, mostly empty.
The halls were dimly lit.
The offices on either side were dark.
This was the way to the only bathrooom for customers of the restaurant.
If you have been out and about in our pandemic world, you know that public bathrooms are hard to find.
It was creepy to be there.
I was aware of my vulnerability.
Yet, I felt as though I had no choice.
I was hyperalert.
I ran back to the exit and the safety of my car.
It was beautiful day.
People were out and about.
No one knew my panic from a few minutes earlier.
Blame the victim?
Some would say I put myself in a dangerous situation.
I was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
A few days later on a trip to Seattle, I saw this sign on the door in my hotel room.
I felt compassion for people who have to enter hotel rooms alone on a daily basis.
My world felt a little darker.
Maybe we all need panic buttons.
*An exclamation from the play Richard the Third, by William Shakespeare; the king cries out, “A horse! A horse! My kingdom for a horse!” after his horse is killed in battle, leaving him at the mercy of his enemies. http://www.dictionary.com