I walked in the evening with my hood on

I wear the hood sometimes.

When I was in the East Coast, I learned that wearing a beanie with a hood offered the best cold protection. There, I discovered that I loved just being surrounded by soft cloth as I moved. It’s comfortable as if it was a barrier between me and the world. I see nothing except what’s in front of me.

But sometimes I wonder if I am seen differently because I am wearing a hood. The hood is from my REI-branded sweatshirt or light athletic jacket. With only a peek of my hair blowing out in the hood, I wonder if I am seen as female as I stroll (or saunter) down the street? Do they expect someone with dark skin to appear?

This evening, I decided to take 23rd up rather than the bright lit 24th from my friend’s place. I was tired of dodging around the hipsters, but I hesitated as I saw dark lone figures in the distance. Yet with my pace and my strange walking gait, I wondered if I looked as menacing as them. Did their hearts cower in fear as a figure approached them? Did their breath stop as they assessed the face for trouble or calm?

A police car approached me as I crossed the street. I reacted with surprise and stepped to the right as my face turned to study the driver. The police car made a swift U-turn. At the time, I thought that they were just circling the neighborhood, but did they notice me? Did they notice a figure in a hood walking fast in a gentrified neighborhood once known for high crime and gang activity? Did they notice that my profile was so low-risk and they turned away searching for the more dangerous figure?

1 thought on “I walked in the evening with my hood on

  1. my sister had something similar happen. the police did actually stop her, and when she removed her hoodie, they said they just wanted to make sure she was okay and not to jaywalk ;-) it was middle of the night. no other cars around.

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