darn, it’s been way too long since i’ve posted. i’ve been working on a couple, but now i can’t even see them and i have a paper due next week to a conference (in Istanbul in the spring…holy smokes) and our playwright friend is coming to town and it’s only three weeks until the triathlon and a friend is sick in the hospital and i’m not really sleeping much and i have to edit another paper for publication (where should I send it?) and my head is full and there have been so many miracles and so much going on and i nearly killed a man the other day…i’ll tell ya that story–
he was crossing the street, against the red light, talking on his cell phone, oblivious to oncoming traffic (me. on my bike). I judged his speed and mine and swept past him, (fairly close, i’ll admit) and he whipped around, and yelled, “Hey, I’m fuckin’ trying to walk here!” with such arrogance—I said, “Yea, you’re not supposed to. fuckhead!” Sometimes, more and more in fact, I am not quite so antagonistic as I ride my bicycle. But that guy, just the way he was walking, the way he was talking loud on his phone, I just got a feeling that that guy was not…well. not good. He yelled back at me, then, he said, “Suck me, Bitch”.
did he really say that?
I rode on, fuming, telling myself that he was not worthy of any further energy, that i had to get to work, that he didn’t deserve any further attention. But oh my. here is what I SHOULD have done:
Turn around and follow him up the street. “WHAT did you say, little man?”
“I said, ‘Suck me, Bitch’,” and flips me the bird as he continues to talk on his phone, “ya, no just some cunt on a bike.”
“oh. my. you have just invited the WRONG woman to fellate you, mister,” as i pull in front of him and block his way, “okay. hand it over then.”
“I’ll call ya back,” and he stares at me, “what?”
“your dick. give it to me. C’mon, buddy, you want me to suck your dick, whip it out. Right here.”
“You’re fucking crazy!”
“No. I’m not. I’m responding in a very reasonable way to your request. Perhaps not a usual way, but a rational one. If you make commands of women, especially with such entitlement, you must expect that eventually one of us is going to call your bluff, yes?” and then, maybe, I’d just drive my front wheel between his legs and grab him by the jacket collar and lift up ever so gently until his feet are scraping the sidewalk, and his torso is leaning toward me, and then i’ll say, with one hand on my handle bars, and one hand on his collar, balancing him precariously on the bike (this is difficult, especially with his arms flailing away at me, trying to land a punch, but I am strong), “crossing the street against the light was bad enough, but then letting fly with misogynist epithets really was your worst mistake today. We don’t like that, little man. Such behaviour reveals that you hate women and indicates that you are probably a danger to us. But you are a danger to us one at a time, because men like you are not courageous.” and maybe i’d give him a little bounce on my wheel as he’s balancing there, ’till he whimpers a bit.
“I am going to be merciful this time, because I don’t like to give up on people.” Bounce. Harder this time. “And just think of me when you go to lash out at a woman because she’s caught you doing the wrong thing. Or for any reason. Remember how this feels [bounce] and think about what might be a safer course of action. I think of this whole event as a ‘teachable moment’. Congratulations.”
Then I would toss him to the ground, wish him a good day and carry on.
damn. I wish i had done a version of that. well. next time.
and there will be a next time, i’m pretty sure…
that’s “harm reduction”. heheheheh.