I like to walk. I prefer it to driving. Walking everywhere wasn’t a problem when I lived in a small town, but these days I live in a mid-sized city in the south—a transition city not developed enough for walking to work to be common, and not small enough for people to still take evening strolls. Almost everyone drives in this city. People who don’t drive are often poor and sometimes crazy. Simply walking to the nearby neighborhood grocery store means I’m likely to pass some cracked-out, baggy pants punk who wants to ask me for a light or some change as he sizes me up.

There are measures one can take to increase safety, and I do take them—but still it can be a gamble here. Stay in good neighborhoods, don’t walk after dark, stay alert and aware of your surroundings. But still.

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