For the past few days I’ve been in and around Washington County, Texas, for what I wished was a quiet period of rest at a quaint little bed and breakfast in a small town. The trip has been way more stressful than I expected.

I have been overcome with fear at the slightest little mishaps and suggestions. We’ve all heard the stories of the rampant and blatant racism that runs through small southern towns. I couldn’t stop thinking about what might have happened if we upset the wrong people, or our car stopped on a little country road at night.

The Dude wanted to take a walk at night to see the stars that are so scarce in Houston. My first thought was, are you crazy?! I couldn’t see the beauty of his suggestion, my fear only let images of hangings and stories of Black people being dragged behind pickup trucks because they were Black and in the wrong place at the wrong time.

I feel irrational. I feel like a child who is scared to get out of bed at night because her big brother told her one too many realistic stories about the Boogey Man. That we have only been met with kindness from every person in town has done very little to assuage my fear that when night comes, this picturesque little Texas town won’t be so friendly to me.

Sure, perhaps there’s something deeper to be said about the psychology, the history or the ridiculousness of what I’m feeling but right now, I just can’t move past the fear.