Perpetual ride down memory lane

This is to the men on the bus. The ever faithful, the ever vigilant men on the bus.

Not a day goes by that I can’t feel your eyes on me. The 90-degree weather nudges my blazer from my shoulders to the inside of my bag. My knee-length skirt keeps my walk cooler. You take these things as an invitation. Or maybe my outfit doesn’t even matter.

You started out by simply saying hello. I didn’t want to be rude. “Baby.” “Sweetheart.” The compliments kept coming. “I’ll give you my cousin’s number. He does tattoos. I know you’re into that sort of thing, tattoos. So am I.” I simply smile and giggle, only half listening. “How was your weekend? I spent mine thinking about you.” I try to avoid eye contact, but that doesn’t stop my cracked grimace and nervous laughter. “I better stop talking like that before your boyfriend comes and gets me.” Yeh, something like that.

I know I am an accomplice in this game. It’s just easier to yield to the periodic interruptions on my ride. Brush it off. Don’t be too nice – that might give them the go ahead – but don’t be disrespectful either. The charade will be over soon enough: They have to get off the bus sometime.

But it’s worse when they just stare. I pretend not to notice, keeping my nose perfectly poised between the pages in my book. If my enthusiasts try to chat, at least I could pretend they were just being friendly. Nope, the starers are the worst. There’s no mistaking what’s behind those eyes; I know they just want to have sex with women.

I just want to scream out, “Did it ever occur to you that so do I? That I too can appreciate the finite features of the female form?”

I hardly ever mention that I am not with a man when a wannabe suitor questions me about my boyfriend. How was I supposed to know if he meant b-o-y-friend or b-o-i-friend? Submitting tends to end the conversation there; far be it from him to encroach on another man’s territory. If I reveal the truth I am subjected to the likes of, “You haven’t met the right man yet,” and “Let me show you what a real man can do.” Do these sort of strategies even work on anyone?

And what am I to do? I am a woman and available for the taking by any man that will have me, right? My own agenda never even crossed their minds.

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3 thoughts on “Perpetual ride down memory lane

  1. Aren’t these are chances to stir the pot? I used to think that silently enduring was the answer to this but I have found it gives the wrong message, clearly. I try to harken back to my young riot grrrl days and tell the male oppressor how I really feel. Or that I fucked his wife. Or that he is a faggot. ( i find calling a straight man a fag before he can realize i am a dyke is paramount to getting a good leg up in the arguement. he can’t possible call me a dyke if i’ve already called him a fag. i realize this is horrible for the gay brothers, however, gay men never back lesbians up anyway.)
    At least this way I walk away feeling slightly empowered and not dirty and filthy, the way gay men might enjoy leaving a situation.

  2. I disagree with The Menstruator, arguing back, stirring the pot in this situation won’t change anything won’t get any point across except for to give these men exactly what they want. They want a rise out of you, they want to see you all hot and bothered. Not to mention it brings up slight issues of safety if not physical at least verbal, being repeatedly harassed on the bus will only get worse once those same men find out that she is queer. That just gives the more things to harass her about.

    I am all for stirring the pot, but you have to be aware of our surroundings. Daily, and all alone on the bus is not the time to try and educate the masses. These men don’t care, what could she possibly say to them to make it clear that they are being sexist oppressive pigs, to them she’s a woman not a person she’s just meat; food. Do you really think these men are going to actually be open to learning something from the dinner?

    On a different note, at times like this I just wonder what these men are thinking. If they want to get women so bad, is that really the best method, like is that really their BEST idea?

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