Apologies: the WAiW birthday party lasted several days and was rather out of control, and then there was the concussion and relatively brief hospital stay. Obviously, the coma rendered me unable to fulfill my duties and keep you posted. Rest assured, I’ve regained consciousness and partial use of my hands and am back on the job.
Meanwhile, mark my words: if there’s ever going to be a zombie uprising, it’s going to get started in Washington D.C. I can’t quite put my finger on it (tainted water? Freaky gamma rays? Inbreeding?) but there’s something wrong with the men there. I don’t know what it is, exactly. I can only define the symptoms:
- Outrageous, out of control catcalling impulses
- Hype- intimidating behavior aimed at unassuming (and, unfortunately, unarmed) women
- Outbursts of racism and homophobia
- Repeated bellowing of semi-meaningless come-ons like “Bad ass sandals!” (although they are pretty bad ass)
All in all, the net effect is that DC freaks me out. It does. My oldest and dearest friend lives there, and I visit her every year or two. I’ve never been a big fan of the place, but I always managed to find the humor in it all: how often does a homeless black midget hit on you, calling “You know you want it! Thankfully, never. Well, except that one time in D.C. (And, in case by some amazing happenstance of destiny and chance he is reading this: no. I really do not want it.)
So anyway, this last trip was particularly harrowing. Me and my friend were walking home on a Friday night. We had already endured three of the four above symptoms, and I, for one, had had enough. Having lived there for twelve years, you can imagine she’s had enough – and then some.
So we were headed up 16th toward her place when a five foot tall man (the disorder may also be stunting their growth?) of likely Hispanic – possibly Mexican, but more likely El Salvadorian – origin comes up on us fast. He doesn’t say anything, but gets decidedly into what is commonly known as ‘personal space’. We took turns whipping around and looking at him with a mix of alarm and ferocity. In response, he would run behind the other one.
After a few minutes of this (and a heated, but hushed discussion between us during which we agreed we could probably kill him with our bare hands and her house keys if it absolutely came down to it), she whips around and bellows “ARE YOU FOLLOWING US!?” In response, he quickly sat on the stoop along the sidewalk and made loud kissing noises for about thirty seconds. Then, and perhaps not surprisingly, he continued his hot pursuit.
Now one thing I love about my friend is her dogged rage at sexual harassment. I have honestly never known a person to get so righteously furious so fast, and yet somehow keep it PG. Basically, imagine someone chewing out a dog for humping their leg, and you’re pretty much exactly in the sweet spot of her diatribes.
Case in point, this cat and mouse/ angry woman and kissy face weirdo thing went on for several more minutes. As we started up the walk to her place, she turned to face our pursuer a final time. Shaking a finger at him, her parting warning to him were more or less what you would expect one to say to a wayward mongrel.
“I said NO!!!”
“Get out of here! Go! Shoo!”
Whether or not he got the message or not is unknown as we ran inside and bolted the door, and I’ve been too afraid to check the “Missed Connections” section of the local paper. As another friend suggested, there may very well be an ad in there for “Five foot nothing seeks five foot eight. You told me to go home, and I know that means you want it…”