I was on the Circulator coming home from work yesterday, and I noticed an older man (at least 50 or 60) sitting across from a young girl (maybe 19 or 20?) in the back of the bus. The man was pretty unkempt, didn’t look like he’d had a shower recently, and was carrying a few dirty bags, and my first impression was that he was probably homeless. I was sort of sketched out, since they didn’t look like they knew each other and she was laughing that uncomfortable laugh that you laugh when a creepy man is talking to you and you don’t want him to. I didn’t say anything, because it wasn’t my business, but then I started overhearing the following clips of conversation (from the man): “I want to lick your toes”… “I love massages…” “Pleasure is central to my life…” and then, “You made my day, I’m going to be thinking about you all day, and all night. All night long!”
I was officially creeped out/disgusted/scared by this point, and was trying to figure out how to save this girl (ask her to come sit with me? go over and ask if she was okay?) when I heard him ask her how late he could call. “Before 10 is good,” I heard her say. From my perspective, that made it harder for me to get involved- should I have interfered anyway? I was sure I hadn’t heard wrong, but maybe she had willingly given him her number and was looking for a friend. Who am I to judge? Or hey, maybe she gave a fake number to try to get him to shut up. But then, he said that he was getting off at the next stop (my stop, O & Wisconsin) and asked whether he could give her a goodbye kiss. I didn’t hear her reply, but turned around to see him standing over her. The stop came and went and neither of us got off, because he wasn’t going anywhere and I was not about to leave the bus when this girl was alone in the back with this man, so I just kept looking back there every few second s or so, trying to figure out what to do. I then saw him kiss her forehead before finally leaving the seat area and walking out of the bus behind me. Since he’d seen me looking at him for the past 10 minutes (he was facing me; she wasn’t), I was worried he might try to follow me, so I went the opposite direction he did.
Should I have stopped this? I had an awful experience last year in Paris when I told a man to essentially fuck off when I caught him moving around in order to stare directly down my friend’s shirt- I ended up getting physically assaulted by him and basically had to run out of the car to escape him. So I didn’t want to try to get involved with this situation and then have the man follow me home or something. But I hope that girl is okay…
Submitted by H on 4/15/2010
Location: Circulator, Wisconsin Ave
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