This one time, I was waiting for a bus in Downtown LA, super late at night. Being Downtown late at night always makes me feel like I’m in a zombie movie. It’s dark, the streets are empty except for newspaper blowing down the street, huge rats and cockroaches running along corners of buildings, the pungent smell of bum urine, and there’s NOBODY around… except for the occasional bum… which you can easily mistake for a zombie.
Anyway, it’s late, it’s cold, I’m tired, I’ve been waiting for the bus for forever, there’s nobody around but me. Then out of nowhere a big black SUV comes slowly rolling down the street and it stops in front of my bus stop. The tinted window comes down. A man peers out at me. Oh, this dude must need directions or something I think.
"Need a ride?" he says.
Oh. He wants to offer me a ride. That’s… weird. “Oh no I’m good. Thanks.”
"Mmhm." Of course I’d LOVE a ride. This bus takes forever, I’m cold and sleepy, and when the bus finally DOES come it’s going to be over an hour sitting on it. So yeah, I’d love a ride, but no, I’m not getting into an SUV with a random stranger in the middle of the night.
"Where you headed?"
“Home." but my tone was more like "Dude, salutations already. Boo. Scat. Leave. Vanish."
"Where do you live?" Now I’m starting to get a bit nervous
"Far." I say.
"You sure you don’t need a ride? It’s no problem, I don’t mind."
"I’m sure I don’t need a ride, but thanks."
"…." In my pocket I’m uncapping my pen just in case I have to stab a bitch.
"It’s really no bother, I could take you halfway. You sure?"
"I’m just gonna wait for the bus."
At this point, you’d expect him to go “Well alright.” or some such, roll up his window, and go about his way. But no, he just stares at me for a few seconds that feel like an eternity. Staring. Uncomfortable, I look away. He’s still staring, I can see him out of my periphery. Staring. I’m guessing, either trying to think of a compelling argument to get me into his vehicle, or trying to calculate if he’d be able to get out of his vehicle and catch me and restrain me or knock me out and drag me back to his vehicle and toss me in the back and have his way with me. If he was thinking either of these things he eventually concluded correctly that there was nothing he was going to say to get me in his vehicle, and there was no way he’d be able to catch me as I am a very slender light man who would already have a good head start.
I can’t say for sure that this man wanted to sexually assault me. Maybe he was just a nice guy who saw a person out in the cold alone late at night and wanted to be a good Samaritan. All I know, is that the way he was looking at me creeped me the fuck out and as a man for the first time in my life I felt sexually vulnerable. I really can’t imagine what it must be like to live life as a woman and feel that way fairly often.
Another time I was walking in Downtown LA at an odd hour, and some man in a car rolled up alongside me and flashed a wad of money and asked “How much?” HOW MUCH WHAT MOTHERFUCKER??? DO YOU NEED ME TO COUNT YOUR MONEY FOR YOU OR WHAT??? I didn’t say that, but I wanted to. What the hell am I doing to give off male prostitute vibes? I know I’m not a super butch manly man, but I feel like I more or less don’t look like a gay prostitute right off the bat. T-shirt, jeans, hoodie, backpack. This isn’t gay prostitute attire is it? I admittedly don’t know much about gay prostitutes, please, some clue me in if I’m giving off any obvious gay prostitute signals.
Another time, in broad daylight, a weird older man drove by and made a kissy face at me. I didn’t even know how to react to that shit. I immediately looked down at myself to make sure I didn’t accidentally put on a dress before I left the house or something.
These are just a few examples of me being hit on or propositioned by creepy dudes. Being hit on by another man does not bother me, if it was a normal guy I’d be flattered and respectfully decline. But these dudes have just been sleazy weirdos. Why am I a magnet for sleazy older creepy potential sex offenders?
The curse of being beautiful :(