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"...another reason I'm intrigued with the hanged of Salem, especially the women, is that a number of them aroused suspicion in the first place because they were financially independent, or sharp-tongued, or kept to themselves. In other words, they were killed off for the same sort of life I live right now but with longer skirts and fewer cable channels." Sarah Vowell, The partly cloudy patriot.


A salty afternoon

Let me chronicle my trip home for you. As an aside, I'm pretty sure since my interaction with pervguy and pervcop last week, my cortisol levels are all wonky. Thus, I am vigilant and easily startled. Thus, the below may seem rather rather innocuous, but imagine it from the high cortisol perspective (plus the sleep deprived perspective):

1. As I rode the bus uptown, I saw a man sitting on the edge of a fountain. It was a busy time of day, people walking all around, others sitting along the fountain too (though none super near him). He was sitting, talking on the phone, with his legs spread wide open. I then noticed that there was a woman kneeling right in front of him with her head in between his legs. I don't know exactly what she was doing -- but I have guesses.

2. A little later a man got on who looked clean enough, but he smelled of feces. Very very strongly. He was pretty far away from me, but I had to cover my nose in order to cope with the smell. I noticed everyone else on the bus did too.

3. I was sitting in a single seat, and had my legs crossed. My legs are so long that if I do that, I have to sit diagonally with one leg kind of in the aisle (if that makes sense). The woman in front of me got up to leave and walked right into my leg. I thought nothing of it because people bang into you all the time, and it's best to just ignore it as usually it is accidental. She and I got off the bus at the same time, and she kept turning and staring at me. I didn't know why. We got off and she yelled at me, "You could at least have apologized!" I was stunned, I had no idea what she was saying or why and asked what I'd done, and she said something about me trying to trip her or something. I apologized - figuring it was just the easiest response, and walked away.

4. I then got a pair of boots -- this is a good thing. I have needed some lowish heeled, funky, black boots, and I got them - for cheap. The look kind of like these, but mine are taller -- they go just above the ankle.

5. I then went to a coffee shop to grab a salad and to do some work. I'd not eaten yet so I was starved. I was sitting and kind of relaxing, when a woman came up to me. I was scared at first she was going to ask to share the booth with me [1]-- but no. She wanted to know how long I would be there as she wanted my booth (the place was likely only 1/4 full, and there were plenty of single people sitting at booths working). And then she kind of went on and on about why *she* needed the booth more than I did (who cares, I was there first!). I told her I would be a while (I had no idea!). It is kind of an unwritten rule at this place that you don't disturb the people who are working. When I ended up leaving, she jumped up and tried to get to my table, but some elderly woman beat her. Ha ha! She went back to her table and glared at me as I left!

6. I then went to catch a bus home. There was a woman with a little 2-ish-year-old boy. He was really cute, and she was far too young herself to appreciate him, so I was smiling at them to demosntrate how completely adorable he was. As I was smiling, I turned my head and accidentally caught the eye of a woman coming toward me. She took that as a sign that I wanted to talk to her and came right up to me (btw, right now, I have a slight trauma reaction related to strangers walking right up to me, related to pervguy). She said, "I have to tell you something!" I was a little scared. (The last time a stranger said this to me, it was a woman *I didn't know* who then told me -- at the train station -- all of her life's traumas, asked my opinions -- I deferred proffering any opinions. but tried to be empathic and she lit into me-- yelled at me. Thus, I had another little trauma reaction when this current stranger said this). She then said, "I just talked to a celebrity! I just saw him down the street! It was the food critic from the channel - insert vague number here - news. He was soooo nice to me!!!" I was stunned and just said, "Oh that's so nice. How great." And then thanked whatever force sent a bus to the stop right at that moment.

7. On my busride home, I stared out the window. We stopped at a busstop, and I happened to glance into someone's apartment. A man was standing in the window -- completely naked, obviously wanting attention as he kept waving (at me?) and then made some gesture with his body. I looked away, and then noticed he was waving (at me?) again. Yikes!

I am now home and safe. However, in the midst of all of this, I forgot to get coffee for tomorrow. And there is no way I am leaving the house again.

[1] I tried that once. A guy asked to share a table with me. I was trying to work, and he sat for part of the time just staring at me. He then got on his cell phone and talked really loudly. Another table opened up and I pointed to it and told him it was open. He looked shocked, but I didn't care. He annoyed me and made it hard for me to focus.


At 7:13 PM, Blogger BrightStar said...

for the record, that stuff would wig me out whether or not I had a pervguy incident.

At 8:47 PM, Blogger dr four eyes said...

Me, too!

At 10:34 PM, Blogger sheepish said...

No kidding. Is it always such a walking freakshow where you are?

At 11:47 PM, Blogger wolfa said...

You have a very odd life. Even for living in a city, that's a lot of weird people going up to you.

Also, is it not generally required to share booths/tables when there are no free tables? Anywhere I've been it's considered actively rude to refuse to share your table.

(I know that wasn't the case in this story, where the woman was just being obnoxious. But it was sort of the impression I got from your footnote. )

At 12:10 AM, Blogger ~profgrrrrl~ said...

What a day. You are wise for not going out again. Tomorrow will be better/different.

At 9:57 AM, Blogger RussianViolets said...

Jesus, Shrinky!!! Oh my god!!! I'm so sorry.

At 10:36 AM, Blogger shrinkykitten said...

B* and ABD: Thanks! I think I was a little worried if I posted it all without that disclaimer, some would think I was just too damned sensitive.

sheepish: well, given it's a big city, people do tend to think they are anonymous and can thus get away with any behavior without anyone caring or intervening.

wolfa: I know, huh? I don't know that it is a requirement to share one's table here. I think that is more the exception than the norm. At this particular place, most singles take up the 4 person booths -- even on extremely crowded weekends, and no one asks to join them. Americans may be far less generous and sharing than Canadians. :)

PG: Oh yes! One good thing is that when stuff like this happens, I can kind of distance by thinking, "Damn, this willmake a great blog entry!" :)

rv: I think that sftr and I could really use some of your bodyguards!

At 11:24 AM, Blogger wolfa said...

Booths are less common, and I am not sure there's thee same sort of rule about them -- something about their intimacy. (A lot of places have rules on booths, 3+ people during rush hours.) Tables, though -- even in the US, I asked or was asked a lot to share tables. Maybe it's something about how I look. But I think here it's par for the course.

Yes, it's great to have a blog so you can write up those weird creepy experiences.


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