So a creeper followed me off the bus the other night. It wasn't super late--9.30pm. I'd had a fun night of happy hour and pop-up Please Maid Cafe and was on my way home, on a bus I don't ride too often but which stops at a quiet corner near my place. So I exited, and he did too, wearing a surgical mask and ballcap and weirdly large coat. Realizing it was just him and me on a quiet dark street, I got a bad feeling, and waited at the bus stop to see where he'd go. When he lingered, and then came back to the stop, approaching me, I told him to get going, go away.
Upon which he said quietly, Don't lose your life to me.
Upon which I lit out for home.
That's right, run he called. I didn't look back until I was past my apartment building.
Yeah I was shaken up, unsure whether this was malevolence or mental illness or something in between. In the moment, it didn't matter. I listened to my gut and got the hell out of there. I talked to an SPD officer yesterday and he admitted there wasn't much the cops could do, or could have done had I called 911. It's not a crime to say dumb shit. It's not a crime to be a weirdo rolling around in a surgical mask. The reality is we all have to keep an eye out and listen to our guts.
And, I'm glad I'm okay but I am so sick and tired of dealing with harassment. Would this wack job have approached a lone male? Watch the "Master of None" episode called "Ladies and Gentlemen." Women know. But until a guy says it--and honestly, probably until a white guy says it--no one's really going to listen. And until Seattle starts dealing with its homeless/mental illness problem--Man in Tree anyone?--nothing's going to change.