You can know anything. It's all there. You just have to find it.

-Neil Gaiman


Friday, October 3, 2008

A Withering Glance

I've previously remarked on the wealth of entertainment and story possibilities one has when using mass transportation on a daily basis. Riding the bus and/or train exposes you the whole human spectrum of life...I don't think you get this from being secluded in your automobile in rush hour. Murmuring obscenities under your breath to the "f*ckerface, dipisshitus, f*cktard, jackass" who doesn't know how to merge from the on ramp doesn't count as verbal interaction.

In case you didn't know, Dipisshitus is Latin for dip shit.

Assholio is Spanish for asshole.

When I drive around I not only use every curse word in the book, I actually make up new ones.

This morning I got to witness a human exchange which I will title: VAGUELY CREEPY GUY'S ATTEMPT AT SEXUAL ADVANCES TOWARD A STRANGE WOMAN.

Every gal out there has seen this guy in action, whether or not you were the subject of his focus. I've seen this so often and have been the recipient enough times to be as primed as Pavlov's dog to when this behavior will rear its ugly head. I'm like one of those old timer's whose knees stiffen when the barometer drops and says, "Looks like a storm's a comin, yessiree."

I'm sitting in the back of the train, next to the window. Someone is sitting next to me and someone is sitting opposite me. Because it is dark out, I look at people's reflections off the window and spy on them, and try to figure out what they are reading as they hunch over in their seats. My favorite past time.

At Lake Street Station a woman just makes it on before the doors close. She is a little breathless and disheveled and wearing a neat black and white pattern dress. It is shiny; her hair is still damp and she is wearing sexy librarian glasses. I notice her because of her shiny dress and as she stands holding the handle by the door I hear a voice.

"Oh miss, there's an open seat right here."

I immediately perk up. I know the sound of this voice. It is a voice you would use to call a puppy or child. Gentle, high-pitched, and vaguely pleading. The skin on the back of my neck tightens. I already know this guy's game. I can't see his face; he is sitting in my row on the opposite side. I don't want to lean my head over into the person sitting across from me to have a gander at him. Instead, I watch the reflection of the woman make her way over into the empty seat.

"Thank you," she says.
There is the precursory chit-chat; he is making all the effort, something else I recognize. She is being polite. There is a newspaper next to her.

"Is this yours?"
"Yes, but you can read it."
"Not much in there though."
She tries to read and not look at him. I'm trying to look at him without being obvious. He keeps trying to talk to her.
With one stop before the Metrodome where I get off, he says something because I think he sees that she's also getting off. This is his last shot.

"Well," he says, "It was nice to meet you." He holds out his hand. "My name is G---."

She politely reaches to shake his hand. As their hands touch, he suddenly bends over, puckering his lips to kiss her hand. I suck in my breath with revulsion at the same time she snatches her hand back violently, reflexively, and says, "No!"

"I'm sorry."
"It's okay."

But it's not okay. After a few seconds she gets up and moves toward the door. I get up too; we are almost at my stop. Now is my chance to see this grade-A dillhole. I'm suddenly infuriated and I want to punch him. I walk to the door and grab the hand hold and turn around. He is looking at me like I knew he would be.

I stare. I stare and count one-one thousand, two-one thousand. If my face had words they would say, "I know what you are. I know you're game. You're a pathetic jerk."

At three seconds he turns his head away.
I get off the train feeling a little more victorious for women everywhere.

Don't underestimate the power of a good stare down.

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