Unwanted Compliments & Phone Numbers I Will Never Dial

Friday, August 24, 2007

I am on my way to the Metro, walking past the CVS in Dupont Circle, & I am not dressed in any particularly spectacular way - skinny jeans that sometimes make me look fat, with a lacy white top & a black "vest" & Chinese Laundry heels. I wear massive, cheap sunglasses that overwhelm my face & carry a massive, utilitarian bag that overtakes my body. A man in jeans & a paint-splattered T-shirt is walking my way, a nondescript man I wouldn’t have otherwise taken note of if not for this: As our paths cross, Average Man lowers his sunglasses, tipping them at the bottom so he can look me in the eye. I avoid his gaze, but as he passes me, he quickly says, very loudly, “Niiiice, baby.” And then it’s over, & I have passed this Average-Yet-Creepy Man, who has somehow made me feel exceptionally ugly & violated using only two words.

Outside my rail station, I ask two conversing bus drivers which port I ought to be waiting at if I want to catch bus 51. “Down that road, honey, that way,” says Light-Eyed Hispanic Driver, who is probably not much older than I am. Middle-Aged Black Driver says no, LEHD is lying, 51’s port is right in front of me, & am I new in town? Yes, I say, from Ohio, & they both recount to Ohio towns they've visited – Youngstown, Cincinnati, Warren, Orville. They know Akron; LeBron has turned the Rowdy into something legendary, for now. Middle-Aged Black Driver tells me he wants to give me his phone number, & when I ask why, he says something unintelligible, something about CDs. For some reason, I record this in my phone under the label “CD,” although I’m never going to call this random, middle-aged bus driver who is old enough to be my father, if my father were, you know, black. As long as MABD doesn’t ask for mine, I figure this is an okay situation; I’ll never call anyway, & if he asks for my number, I will lie. If he calls it while I’m standing there, I will be screwed. I mentally cross my fingers against this potential occurrence; he gives me his number & walks away to take a phone call.

Light-Eyed Hispanic Driver tells me his name is Hector, & do I like clubs or bars? Not clubs, I tell him, but I do bars sometimes. Nothing is open in Maryland late at night, he tells me, and weekends here suck – you have to go into the city for a good night out. If I want to go out sometime, to a bar & not a club, Hector says, I should call him. He gives me his number &, like MABD, doesn’t ask for mine, thankfully. And just like MABD, he walks away to take a phone call, waving at me as I head off to port 51, confused by this entire encounter.

I need to learn to avoid strangers. Entirely.

1 comment:

  1. HAHAHAHHAHHA. "Niiiiice baby." I love it! What is it with guys like that? Kankakee men like to ask me out randomly, and in this fashion: "Hey, you gotta man?" or "You married?" The answer is always yes, even if I do have a man and am not remotely married. Note to desperate guys out there: You do not ask a woman for her hand without knowing what to call her.

    Fun blog :) I look forward to reading it. Drop me an update sometime. as in" Whatcha doin' on the east coast?


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