Let’s share our terrible stories and be horrified by the extremes we have endured and survived. What doesn’t kill you…doesn’t kill you for a reason, right?! Today an obnoxious day. I must put off some sort of vibe on certain days that begs people to fuck with me. I was happy, maybe that was the problem. I was singing the only line of the popular Lorde song Royals and had just realized that, perhaps for the first time all winter, none of my body parts were cold as I rode my bike through the sunshiney, 25 degree weather. What happened when I walked into the building? I went to sign in at the front desk; the attendant asked me if I was cold and reached over to touch my hand. My hand was curled around the pen, I tried to make it as small as possible, afraid of physical contact.
“No, I’m actually hot,” I said, putting the pen on the counter.
“Well anyone looking at you can see that!” he said.
I laughed a startled laugh and told him I would see him later. When I went into the restroom I looked at my face, my makeup had come off during the ride and my cheeks were bright red. What was he talking about?
When I went to lock my bike up at the bank a half hour later I heard the sound of a man crowing like a rooster. I tried not to look at him, knowing that he was trying to get my attention. He stomped his foot and whistled and I looked up as I turned the key in my lock. Before he had time to say anything I asked him where he worked and if they were hiring, trying to keep him from saying anything lewd to me. I could tell it was that sort of day. When I went in to the bank strangers seemed interested in talking to me as well, three different women struck up conversations with me. Couldn’t they see that I am vastly shy and afraid of people? When I came out of the bank I saw the rooster man standing by my bike, waiting for me. I pretended to make a phone call and leaned against the glass wall of the bus stop until he left.
On my way back someone behind me leaned on their horn for at least thirty seconds. They were driving a red pick up truck, which I associate with rednecks and ignoramuses. I slowed down and came to a complete stop in the middle of the intersection. Fuck that guy. Then a cop standing on the side of the road yelled at me to keep up with traffic. My blood boiled. Fuck off cop, fuck you, fuck you, fuck you. I imagined horrible things, his car spontaneously combusting, his gun back firing the next time he tried to shoot some unarmed teenager in the wrong neighborhood, his face being beat to a bloody pulp by the girl he had been raping for the last five years. Just when I had started to calm down I came to a stoplight and heard
“Hey gorgeous.” Fuck. What am I supposed to do. I looked around, trying not to make eye contact with the man standing on the corner.
“You’re the only gorgeous woman on a bike, you know that.” he said.
The nervous, startled laughter again.
“Thaaanks,” I mutter.
“Hey, let me take you out some time.” he says.
FUCK. I HATE THIS INTERACTION.
“Sorry, I have a husband,” I say just as the light turns green and take off. Another car honks at me from behind. I ride fast, letting my seething rage propel me the rest of the way home.