July 16, 2009

I can't leave my house

without being harassed by strangers on the street. Today moreso in particular. I lost track after the 6th or so person.

It all started this afternoon, leaving my apartment around 1:20pm. This is right in the beginning of the afternoon where traffic is heavy with manufacturing trucks making their deliveries and all of the people who sit out on the sidewalk in lawn chairs on the busy avenue... do that. The guys who own the two bodegas I live above as well as the primped ladies of the hair salon sit smack-dab in the middle of the sidewalk in a circle or semi-circle of mismatched plastic lawn chairs. This way you get the best view of the projects across the street.

I dodged them politely trying to exit the front door and walk up the avenue towards the train. Traffic is heavy on this humid sunny July day. A car stopped at a red light is the first. I didn't look at the car. I never do.
"Damn beautiful, you so beautiful!" A voice slithered from the passenger window. I ignored it. The voice continued. "Hold on, beautiful, I just wanna talk wit chu."
At this point the light is green and those behind him didn't bother honking so much as they just bypassed him. He pulled forward to sidle alongside briefly, only to comment, "Damn look at her walk, look at that fat ass!"
The car sped off. I am creeped out. Also, slightly offended. But mostly just uncomfortable. I had on jeans and a loose tank. The hell.

Closer to the way to the train, two more parties cat call, trailing briefly after me, and I hate my life. Others make kissy noises and I still hate my life. The rest of the day I walked around avoiding eye contact with everyone and trying to maintain as anonymous a profile as possible.
Am I ovulating or something? Am I sending out some sort of pheromones or something that illicites gross mannerisms in my direction?

The last of it comes in the form of a probably crazy-guy in front of the cafe down the block, as I'm walking back to my apartment, paper cup of tea in hand.
"HEY!" He barked, looking right past me. "That coffee, that's coffee from the guy... the same guy who makes the coffee... from.... STARBUCKS! You got yourself a Starbucks coffee!"

I didn't bother correcting him that it was tea. I don't bother correcting crazy-guy who yells things on the street. I don't think they got there by fact checking.

I decided that I can't ever leave my apartment. It's too creepy.
I pay too much to live in a neighborhood where my daily commute involves being grossed/creeped out by its inhabitants. Where I shrink into myself as soon as I step out the door.

That usually happens in minor ghettos but for whatever strange reason, be it planet alignment or just the relatively intense heat of today, impolite testosterone will always put me in a dour mood. Especially when paired with horrific grammar and mumbly street slang. Mostly then.

1 comment:

Boom-Chika-Maow-Maow said...

Sssss! Cheena!

I can't count the number of times I heard this particularly while walking around the garment district!