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  • When I was a kid, alleyways were for dangerous bike riding, up and down and up and down the steepest adjacent driveways we could find. Today I understand why my dad got so mad when he found out we were doing this. Today I wouldn't be able to refrain from expressing a warning to any kids I saw doing the same.

    When I got older, alleyways were for dangerous walking in the dark. As I got older I learned that women should be especially careful in dark areas of parking lots and garages and places of the like. There were dangerous people that sat in wait for their prey; opportunists. Today it makes sense to me.

    When I got even older, alleyways were just a route to get to my destination. Dangerous? Maybe. Maybe a short-cut; maybe even a long-cut. Maybe I didn't want to be seen. At that time, it didn't make sense to me. At that time danger didn't seem real. It didn't hold weight in my mind, as my thoughts were occupied by an obsession to use.

    When I turned that corner in life, and found freedom, alleyways were just alleyways. Some people drive entirely too fast down alleys. Some people drive so slow I think I might implode when I am cruising impatiently behind them. I always watch for kids that might be dangerous bike riding. I avoid walking alone in dark alleys. If I have to, I have my Kershaw in hand, a serious awareness of my surroundings, and an unusually quick stride. Danger is real and it does hold weight today.

    *This photo is from an alleyway in downtown Ottawa, KS; they have my favorite alleyways so far...
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