Today's stranger danger broadcast is brought to you by a grant from the Molested Panda Brigade; twinkle twinkle little winkle.
If today were personified, it would be my primary school bully who always had a desire to push six year old Me (hair in black born-with ringlets with a Disney character ribbon tying the whole affair into a loose ponytail, naturally. Gingham checked uniform dress, floppy lace-topped white cotton socks, of course. The finishing detail being my favourite raggedy red cardigan which had tears and holes and grass stains on it, from fighting with the boys.) down a hill after it had rained profusely, so I'd land in a mud patch headfirst.
I did everything wrong today; which happens, I know. It was my fault for not stopping and waiting until my disorientated brain had time to tell itself off and reboot into "Useful mode".
"Useless mode" was programmed into my hard drive today and so my CPU (central pussy unit) overheated and I lost my bravado.
I dealt with it. I got through the day, kept a smile on my face and didn't allow myself to turn into the grumpy bitch I had turned into last Thursday.
And then, my mother called and told me in detail, a tale of a fourteen year old boy she knew who was having a hard time; suffering in ways only those have suffered previously could understand. I've been done that road, so I related heavily and "useless mode" kicked into "major empathetic mode" and so I ended up thinking greatly about this poor teenager as I was leaving the SFC grounds. Must admit that I got quite choked up by it all and also felt furious at my old school for not doing more about bullying. I actually, rather embarrassingly, shed a few tears over it as I crossed the road and walked the pavement. I can't even blame it on monthly womanly issues, I was just feeling very empathetic is all.
Someone saw me getting my frown on:
He asked "You look like you're going to cry, are you okay?"
"Yes, fine thanks, just....long day. You know how it is! Thanks."
"Well don't cry.....because uh....well, you have nice tits!" He smirked and gestured at my chest.
I couldn't tell if he was joking in an effort to cheer me up, or if he was trying to cheer me up by complimenting me on my boobs. I simply nodded and smiled and said "must go or I'll miss my train" although I had no train to miss as I either walk, cycle or get a lift to SFC.
From a young age I have been taught to talk to anyone and everyone, and so from this I have learnt great tolerance for the bizarreness of strangers, especially if they have good intentions at heart. So, I simply couldn't have felt offended by this man, because he did seem to genuinely care for my well being, even if he responded in a disgusting manner.
The thing is, my mother tells me I have an honest face (even if I can lie like fuck on occasion) and so I think strangers tend to gravitate towards me, especially if they are absolutely insane. That, or I'm giving out some "Please say crazy shit to me" vibes that I'm unaware of.
This was not the first time a complete unknown to me has spoken at a random time, saying something really inappropriate. Last Thursday (aforementioned above a la my being a grumpy bitch) was host to some shittery, and the final straw which broke the camel's back was when I missed the last bus to town. I sighed audibly, not noticing the man standing within earshot.
"Missed the bus? Another will come along, no worries."
"It was the last one to town actually."
" maybe someone could offer ya lift?"
"Hm, maybe not."
"Tell ya what I'll make a deal for ya. I'll give you a lift."
"Oh, that's very kind, but I think I see my friend over there."
The man continues talking as if I had not spoken. "so I'll give ya lift, but you have to pay me right"
"nahh it's alright, I gotta go now anyway"
The conversation turns into a mockery of my day when the man proceeds to make gestures, which make it clear to me that he is offering to give me a lift if I engage in oral sex with him. I make it clear I am disgusted and not interested. Words are thrown about and I wonder why the hell I talk to anyone besides my cat.
No longer in the mood to go out, I was called a "Grumpy bitch" by Germanotti, understandably since I cut him short on the phone by hanging up. Fair.
Strangers find it easy to talk to me, and people I barely know confess to perverted fantasies and sexual dysfunctions and bizarre fetishes, so it is nice when someone I've never met compliments me instead. Even if it's based on shallow standards.
Although there is always evil where there is good, I do believe in the kindness of strangers. Last year, for example, when I had just dyed my hair black and was feeling insecure about my appearance, the cutest eldery Italian man approached me at the bus stop. He told me my eyes were twinkling like I had a secret and he'd bet all the boys wanted to know what that secret was. "You smile... like you know, eh?" He then winked in the most charming manner, bellowed "ciao bella" and ran (in a way I would've thought him incapable, what with his limp and walking stick) towards the bus.
People are crazy, no?
And yet, I always rely on the kindness of strangers.
I actually bought this on VHS whilst on one of my charity shop raids for books and old tapes. Classic.
p.s As for that boy , I'm going to write him a letter and put it in an envelope and give it to him. I feel I should reciprocate the strange kindness which this world has thrown at me on occasion.