The place I dropped my car off to get it checked out wanted a bit too much, so I picked it up and took it to my usual spot where the Lebanese mechanic and I are on a first-name basis at this point because the car has been giving me more and more trouble as it ages. I bring the Jungle Puppy I'm petsitting up with me for a car ride and we walk back through the darkening west side streets under papery flakes of snow.
Having a dog beside me, even a small Anubis-looking one, evidently makes one immune on the city streets from the hollers and the propositions out of car windows and shadowy figures on the street after sunset, which was one of the reasons why I moved out of the Almost-Hood. Not having the time to be a good canine owner, and enjoying the pleasure of after-work flaneur as the streetlights come on and the sky darkens is a dubious gamble for a solitary slim female on streets with not nearly enough streetlights and general pedestrians.
There was one time in conversation with a friend where I likened having a car in the city as having a tank in a warzone not because it's oh-so-dangerous in Clevelandia, but it's a conveyance used over short distances in less savory times of day to get from Point A to Point B with a minimum of anxiety. This, and the general fortress mentality of former residence in the Almost-Hood drove me a little bit crazy, because I hated feeling that I couldn't walk around the corner to visit friends and had to drive there because the unlit streets populated by a few too many outpatients from the mental facilities one block over and people high or otherwise strung out on one substance or another looking for a fight or an easy victim, or the violating feeling of getting propositioned by a lech in a big car every time you leave the house alone, even if you're walking out of church or carrying bags of groceries.
My feet were cold when I got to the house I'm staying at, the dog curled up on the couch waiting for me. I made tea, and read this excellent book before getting picked up by one of my station homies for cinematic excursions and such. It's a bit frustrating to get around, but still, these nights when the pace slows down, sometimes it doesn't seem all bad.