A woman sits on the bar stool next to him,
Sipping on a glass of Jim Beam whiskey and Sprite,
Smelling sweet like bittersweet honeysuckles
From that bush outside her childhood church.
A Marlboro slate cigarette in her mouth
That he lights with a match from her purse,
Smelling like a mini campfire.
She breathes in the menthol,
A bitterness like burnt mint leaves
Meant to garnish an extravagant meal
That she burnt in the kitchen
When she got distracted by him.
She breathes out a cloud of smoke
That rolls out like a storm
Smelling of nostalgia.
He remembers when she first tried one
At a bonfire when she was wine drunk and young.
She was angry, going to the bottle for numbness
After a fight with her mother.
She bummed a cigarette off him
And had to be taught how to smoke it.
She couldn’t even light it by herself
Without burning her fingers.
She breathed it in, a knot tight in her throat,
A nicotine high making the world spin,
A turntable of numbness from the feeling,
Breathing out apathy with no regret.
Now she smiles at him with dark red lips as if painted with blood,
A mischievous sparkle in her eyes like the diamonds on her left hand.
She orders a strawberry martini as he orders another pitcher of beer.
Revisiting the past in a bar both of them know well. It’s been awhile, hasn’t it?
She grabs his hand and drags him after her,
Her long dress spinning to the music,
Daisies spun in the hand of a flower girl.
She sings all while he watches her.
She’s still ferociously adorable,
Even when she tries to be an adult.
She can’t hide it around him,
Giggling as they dance
Like they did on their wedding day.
At bigger schools and universities, the students normally go out on the weekends. They have a main street that’s lively with people, bars, restaurants, and small music venues. However, when people come to visit Radford they ask what bars we go to or where they are, if it’s a long walk to them, et cetera.
What they don’t know is, we only have two or three “bars”, if you can even define them as such, that people will venture to and actually have fun at.
BT’s is the closest and is within manageable walking distance. There’s Sharkey’s, which is further, but you can still walk there without much trouble. The last bar is Macado’s, which you would probably want to drive to since it’s sort of out of the way of everything else happening on the weekends.
So, I would definitely say that Radford does not have a bar scene or a street specifically for students on the weekend.
Although we do have a main street that has a decent amount of shops, no one bothers to remember the names of them, let alone visits them. What would be beneficial to our students, our community, and our school would be to renovate our main street and start to build a nightlife scene.
Students would be excited about the new bars, they would make a lot of money off of the students especially on the weekends, and it would give Radford something that it doesn’t have yet. Radford is already growing significantly, and has big plans for the next several years on expanding.
This would bring in a lot of wanted and needed revenue and give students another option for the weekends. It could also make it safer for students if there were police down there to help deal with traffic and helping students walk across the streets. Radford would thrive off of a main street nightlife and I see it happening sometime in our school’s future!
If you’ve been on the internet at all in the last week, you’ve probably seen thevideo by Hollaback!– an organization that works toward stopping street harassment– wherein a girl walks the streets of New York City for 10 hours with a hidden camera in order to show the street harassment that women endure. The woman gets many comments such as “smile, beautiful,” “what’s up beautiful,” and “someone’s acknowledging you for being beautiful! You should say thank you more!” One man even walked closely behind her and whispered, “God bless you, Mami.”
The video shows footage of the girl walking silently, with a resting face. Some greetings seem innocent such as, “how are you,” or even just “have a good day!” When you look past the subtitles that show what the strangers are saying to the girl, there is a common theme: all of the comments come from men and most of them look her up and down as she walks away. Two men even walk along side the girl, harassing her even though she is completely silent.
I’ve discussed this topic with a few people, several of which said a lot of the people were just being polite. One Facebook friend of mine claimed that when he visited the city, it was commonplace that people would greet you with “God bless you,” much like the men did to this woman in the video.
Street harassment may seem innocent because the women aren’t being touched or harmed, but as a woman, I can attest that cat-calling is almost as harmful as groping. I’ve written about this a few times, but I can never seem to find the words to express how scary it can be to walk the streets sometimes. There have been times where I have been just walking across campus and have had intrusive comments thrown at me. I’ve heard the typical, “hey girl,” and I’ve had guys openly say, “damn, nice ass.”
The worst harassment I’ve gotten was when I was leaving a Hawaii-themed party. It was the night before seasons switched from winter to spring, so it was very cold. I was still dressed appropriately for the party, wearing a skirt and a Hawaiian shirt. I was also wearing sandals. This drunk guy walked past me and I heard him murmur, “why the fuck are you wearing sandals, it’s winter.” It was a stupid, unnecessary comment. In the video of the girl walking the streets of NYC, one man makes a comment about the brand of jeans the girl was wearing. Even dumb comments like this are just plain rude. If you don’t have anything pleasant to say, don’t say anything.
Many people have accused the girl of being rude, seeing as she was walking in silence, not responding to the men with a emotionless face. Just because a man pays you a random compliment doesn’t mean you owe him any ounce of attention, ladies. Especially if the comment was inappropriate. A compliment isn’t always a compliment if it makes you uncomfortable. Some people legitimately can’t take even a nice compliment, but when a stranger makes a sexual comment, it’s never appropriate.
There are quite a few people that have rolled their eyes at this video and dismissed it as women just “being dramatic.” However, I’ve experienced this kind of harassment myself over and over again and after a while it’s exhausting and even scary. At the end of the video, you see the girl close her eyes and take a deep breath. Many times, this is what I do when I finally make it home safe, especially at night.
Guys in Radford tend to yell from their balconies or porches at girls who obviously can’t defend themselves from a distance. It may seem innocent, but it’s incredibly immature. It’s time that we all respect each others space. There’s no reason anyone should feel terrified to walk down the street.
This week on Radcentric, writer/director Jake Wood comes on the show to discuss his involvement with “Making a Scene: A Night of One Acts.” As discussed in the last episode of the podcast, the one acts are being performed May 1-4. Jake is directing the dramedy “Sunday Night” by Julian Sheppard in the festival. The play is about a newly wedded couple that begin to go through immediate regrets about their decision to be married. The play has plenty of adult content and extremely likable characters.
Along with directing his first stage play, Jake also has a youtube channel where he uploads short films and other various videos. His most recent video is a short film titled “Until We Get it Right.” It focuses on a couple trapped in an endless cycle of replaying the same breakup until they, you guessed it, get it right. Continue reading Radcentric: Writer/director Jake Wood→