Clara decided she needed a roommate, or as her London friends called it a lodger to help defray expenses. It's a big ol' house with lots of room and the repairs it needs won't come cheap. She advertised on craigslist and her first, and only, respondent was a gentle man who meditates and teaches and heals. Good energy things, the type of energy this big ol' house needs, she thought.
They chatted on the telephone, a conversation as much about this is who I am, who are you as how much the rent would be and whether or not utilities would be included.
And finally, it arrived, the Big Question.
"I'm familiar with that area from work I've done and driving through," he said. "Is it safe?"
Is Beirut safe, she thought. But she said, "I'm a middle aged woman who lives alone. I don't own a car so I'm walking to and from the T at all times of the day and night and I feel safe."
He again questioned the safety of the neighborhood.
He believes everything he reads in the newspaper, she thought. Poor man. "It is Roxbury," she said. "I feel safe but I'm not other people. And it is Roxbury.
Statistically, and sadly, she has a better chance of being killed by a husband or lover, if she had one at the moment. Statistically, and sadly, a big part of the reason she feels safe is because she is not an African-American male between the ages of 15 and 34.
But as far as she's concerned, Roxbury is safe. It's those damn automobiles that'll kill ya.