I just got back to New York a couple of days ago from Singapore, a clean, safe city where I had zero unpleasant interactions with strangers on the gum-free sidewalks…although I did encounter a rude saleswoman at the Far East Shopping Centre (I guess that’s the deal behind “it” bags? $1500 on a wallet/phone receptacle to earn some basic-ass respect?!). My favorite parts were the Singapore Zoo, which is massive and animals roam free in their natural habitats, Haji Lane, and most of all, spending time with friends I’ve known for nearly the amount of time I’ve lived in New York. Speaking of which, I sorely missed the city and my tortie, Coco. Believe it or not, I even missed the strangers—high-strung, sometimes friendly, often on edge—fellow New Yorkers that pass by in a blur on a daily basis. In fact, I often do miss them when I leave.
My city welcomed me with bagels, strong coffee, cold weather (missed that too because it only makes the spring even better), and I was extra welcomed by an asshole on the train who called me a cunt. Here’s what went down…
Someone touches my arm, placing it in such a way that makes me think I am about to run into a friend saying hello. Instead, it is some guy offering a seat on an uncrowded train to me, a woman carrying only a handbag, and I say, “No thanks.” Then he asks me if I am a skater. I make a confused, quite annoyed face, because clearly he is trying to talk more, and say, “No,” because I do not want to have a conversation. I, like many, if not most women, have been in this situation enough times where a man tries to speak to you when you just want to…not talk to him.
He does not go away. He asks why I have to say it like that, why do I have to come at him. I say I’m not “coming at him.” And he tells me I should be nice, and I assertively say, “What?” And he asks why I have to talk like that, it’s as if I want bad things “said again” to me and that I should be nice. I tell him he is not entitled to my niceness. He says, “You’re a cunt.” I put my hand under my chin (aka “Grace Face”) and I say, “Thanks…[I’m] proud.” And he says it again and I go, “Yeah!” Then I take a picture of him. As he walks away, I walk after him and admittedly, my voice shakes a little from the adrenaline as I say, “You fucked with the wrong person!”
As in, me: a New Yorker of 17+ years. Happy to be home!