How could anyone ever understand these mascara scars?

It's in the dark of the night that the monsters come out. My best friend Dana is snoring softly next to me; she's spent most of the weekend here subtly making sure that I'll be okay. I lay in bed and stare up at the ceiling. I cannot sleep. Like two mismatched reels of film, the fresh scene plays in my head, but soon gives way to a deeper hurt, a fuzzy, stilted slideshow that is best not remembered. I roll over, face the wall, try not to wake Dana as I sob quietly into my pillow.

On Thursday, I was attacked by a group of street kids on my way to the bus stop. I say kids because none of these boys were older than fifteen. And I say attacked because this was sexual harassment taken to the extreme. Every day, I am confronted with cat calls, inappropriate remarks, men grabbing my ass, taxi drivers showing me porn, and strange phone calls from Egyptian men whispering disgusting words to me in Arabic at 3am. These occurrences, though annoying, have never actually caused me much distress; there's never any intention behind any of it- it's all talk and posturing. On Thursday, however, there was intent, and it was unmistakable. The evidence is in my torn clothes. I am still reeling.

I usually try not to post negative things about Egypt. I love Egypt, and I love Egyptians. I would never want to give anyone a bad impression of the place I love. But writing is how I deal with things. So obviously, I'm dealing with it. Or trying to. Stand by.

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