Anyhow, there's a point to this rambling, and it's not to complain about the buses. The point is, I'm out and walking in the dark alone a lot. Most of it's not too bad - walking through campus, there's plenty of people out and about (even during the summer) and plenty of light. Walking through frat court, there's not usually people out, but there's people living there, plenty of light, and public safety call boxes. (Of course, these things are probably an illusion of safety, anyhow. If someone really wanted to pull something on me, would I have time to get to a public safety call box or even to pull out my own phone?) It's only the last little bit of the walk that's really creepy. I don't have a whole lot to worry about there either. I have more to worry about from Joe Random Crazy than the neighborhood, and you can run into Joe Random Crazy anywhere.
Which brings me to the point of the ramble. When I'm out walking alone at sub-optimal times, I get really tense when I run into men, either alone or in groups, even if they look as tense and wanting to get home as I am. I pay attention to them and where I am and make sure I look like I know where I'm going. If I run into women... it doesn't bother my spidey senses, for lack of a better term. There's a truck that lives across from us that leaves for work about the same time I do when I have early mornings, and I finally caught a glipse of the driver the other morning. It was a chick, I think Hispanic. Oh, well, it's a girl. That's okay, then. And I immediately relaxed. Which is not okay, because it can be just as easily Jane Random Crazy as Joe. And I have to remind myself of that, and keep my guard up.
Do men who are out and about by themselves at night have this general paranoia that something is going to happen? (For that matter, do other women, or I am just paranoid? I suspect that it's not just me.) It makes me sad that I'm of a generation of women that (partially for cause, partially not for cause) has been raised (conciously or not) to be suspicious of strange men, and doubly so of groups of strange men. It's good to be cautious, but I hate having to feel suspicious of every guy that I run into walking home from work at night.