Steadfast Orion 

A few weeks ago I followed a link from blogging.la to a narrative about Joshua, who, like my adventurous, loner self, simply wants to go about his business in the wild abroad.

Or, to be more precise, he simply wants to get from A to B on the Los Angeles Metro.

This is a luxury that we do not have. The ignored reality is that, not only is it unsafe to walk about at night (not to mention seen as strange), but following your path out alone can lead to mortal threat. Fear keeps us indoors after dusk and drives us out in numbers.

After reading Joshua’s story I composed an entry with a link to his site. I trashed said entry without posting it on JSDC. I do that sometimes.

Today I received a note from a regular:

It turns out that the guy in question is the brother of a co-worker of mine. The victim's brother is in a band called Imperative Reaction, which is fairly popular in some music circles around LA. He is planning a charity function, which he’s calling Antiviolence LA, in order to raise money to help out with his brother's horrendous medical bills and also to donate to the National Center for Victims of Crime.

It was time for another attempt. I revisited Joshua’s story:

My next string of memories are very wet and strange. I'm waking up on my side, and start crawling on the ground, trying to make my phone work; there's cars passing by but no one is stopping; I'm screaming and crying and I think I've lost most of my teeth. I keep spitting out and vomiting out blood. I'm trying vainly not to make a mess. I can't stand up. A small part inside of me keeps telling me I won't die out here; I just have to keep moving... just keep going and you'll end up safe, I had to argue with me that I wasn't going to die.

Anyone who has ever been hit full blast with evil intention, and been attuned enough to feel and realize that something wrong is about to occur, knows there’s a reason that evil is archetypal instead of something that can always be diagnosed away on Law & Order:

Evil, true evil, does exist. And it is strong.

Of course, when we Know, we often do nothing and dismiss it as paranoia. We don’t want to look silly dashing off the bus at the wrong stop just because of a vibe we get from another passenger. Or leave the beach because we might be about to get mugged. We don’t want to yell out for help before something happens. Luckily, something or someone usually thwarts the attempt. Call it divine intervention.

But what happens when there is no sense of what is about to occur? And worse, no intervention?

It will come to pass that evil will triumph, even if only for a moment. (For it always seems to inspire something good like the fundraiser linked above.) Still, a moment is more time than we think. And trusting yourself in the moment can save you more than time.

So how do we stay safe? Fear to go outside... Fear to walk the path alone... That price is too high.

In secondary school I wrote this:

untitled

At midnight steadfast Orion whispers to me.
I devotedly climb to the window seat
And he lures me outside the glass into the dark.
I come, afraid of those whose sleepy eyes
Delight only upon unruly stars and constellations.

Here Conscience cautions of Unsaiph, Maniac Borealis,
The Homicidal Clouds and Crazed Nebula;
That Fear, Miscreant Merak and the Neurotic lights
May remain waiting with Obscurity.
I allow the Dippers to ladle these away.

Enticingly Scorpius, Fortuna, and
Shinning Envy intermingle in a devious whirlpool
With Greek Eros and Latin lovelorn Caritas.
Ardor stands proudly guarding himself
From sparkling Passion, Epiphany,
And Andromeda's conquest.

Triangulum Unrequited shivers nearby.

It's not very good in that it would need some work in order to be a clear poem, and so I'll divulge (though I generally don't like to say what things are about) that the idea is that same, locked-up-by-fear frustration that I speak of in this entry. This is something that has bothered me since, as a child, I first became aware that the entire world wasn’t open to me wherever, whenever.

Today I finally came up with a title to the untitled.

Because, aren’t we all, like Orion, merely trying to stay ahead of the Scorpion?

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