Let me know you made it home

Let me know you made it home. Text me when you get in. Be sure to call when you’re safely home. I say it time and time again when I’m leaving friends in towns or cities or even if they’re leaving my house to drive to theirs.

Let me know you made it home.

If they’ve not heard it from me before, some look at me as if to say ‘You’re not my mother!’ It’s not that I think anything will happen to them; it’s more that I don’t want to worry.

I’ve forgotten I asked at times so when the text comes in an hour later, I’m surprised at the lateness. And then I remember.

Today, the FB gods showed me a poem by J. Raymond. It came with a compulsion to share. I read it because the title resonated with me. And as I read it, the fear resonated too. Not from personal experience, thank God, but from a hyperactive imagination that all too easily conjures up the worst in the world.

Let Me Know You Made It Home from The Kindred Project: Vol. II
This morning, while drinking my coffee at the little shop on the corner,
I saw a woman shrink.
Her gait doubled in pace
as she passed a group of men standing around their work truck.
Pulling elbows, handbag, and shoulders,
into herself.
Lowering her head and gaze,
as if hoping to be invisible.
Once inside the coffee shop, without thinking, she quickly locked the door behind her.
And in that moment,
I believe I saw what trauma looks like.
I saw habits formed by a fear
that’s never followed me home.
She turned around,
embarrassed
and face blushing as red as a STOP sign
with the word PLEASE written above it,
checking to see if anyone noticed.
I did.
Averting eye contact and looking away again, she unlocks the door,
shrinks a little more
and hides in line, waiting to place her order.
I wanted to tell her it’s ok,
that I’m not going to hurt her,
but that sounded in my head like the kind of thing someone threatening would say.
So, I just left.
And on my way home I crossed the street before getting too close to anybody else.
Not because I felt unsafe,
but because I didn’t want them to.
For whatever it’s worth,
you don’t need to be invisible around me.
For whatever it’s worth,
I’ll watch the door.
A powerful piece of writing.
I hope #jraymond doesn’t mind me sharing.

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