A couple of weeks ago I was coming home from work. It was dark but it wasn’t late. I had just left the subway. I was a few steps away from the entrance. Lots of people were around. Two men were walking towards me. I gave them as much room as I give anyone. One of them moved towards me. Then he reached out to me and put his hand on my arm. He didn’t grab it, and he didn’t stop. Just put his hand on my arm and then kept walking.
Or maybe he put his hand on my arm and I didn’t stop, and I kept walking.
It was aggressive. It was unwanted. I had headphones in but I could hear him laughing, saying something to me as the distance between us grew. I didn’t alter my pace one bit. I didn’t look back.
My walk home from the train is about ten minutes. I felt fearful, I felt angry, I felt cowardly. I kept thinking, there’s nothing else I could have done back there, nothing I could have said that would have made any difference. There’s nothing else. I did the right thing, there’s nothing else. But thinking that made me feel helpless, and feeling helpless made me feel angrier.
I got home and I locked the door behind me and I thought, I can’t think about this anymore. And then I thought, maybe I won’t tell anyone about it, either. Who needs to know? It happens all the time. It’s not even my worst story. It’s most assuredly not my last. It’s not anyone’s worst story. It’s not anyone’s last story. I could have had it worse. Many people have had it worse. I don’t want to scare anyone else. I don’t want anyone else to be afraid. I don’t want anyone else to be afraid for me. I don’t want anyone to worry. It happens all the time. I can live with this. Everyone else lives with this. Everyone else lives with this and they don’t say anything. I’m fine.