At first I thought it was just a fluke of my neighbourhood - either all the horndogs live on my block, or there was a blonde shortage, or they're all a bunch of lascivious drunks - but the truth is, as long as I'm alone, I will get stopped no matter where I am. Not just my flirty men, but primarily by flirty men.
Actually, on the weekend I was with Jason, walking up my street at night, when a cheerily drunken fellow us bid us good evening, and I wished him one back, which put Jason's panties in a bunch. "Don't encourage them!" he hissed, as if being polite is somehow a bad thing. But then he was distracted - the red blotches we were following were almost certainly blood, and we began to wonder where this trail would lead us. However, when the drips of blood ended, there was a very large pool of blood, which means it was the beginning, not the end. The shattered plate glass door seemed to be to blame. We had just missed a bar brawl, and whoever got cup up during the smashing had obviously fled the scene. Jason grabbed me tighter and insisted I not walk at night anymore (not that I ever listen).
- A man stopped me on Davenport to ask me where my dog was. Apparently the only reason anyone ever walks in Toronto is to let their pet crap.
- Walking down Ellesmere a guy wearing a wife beater looked me up and down, licked his lips (this happens in real life!?!?!) and said Why don't you take me home with you? , except with way worse grammar that I will not stoop to copy.
- Waiting for a bus on Dundas, the little old lady who was waiting beside me noticed a hand-written sign saying we should head "2 poles north" for a detour bus. Crossing the intersection, a man walking by said "You look very beautiful this morning" to which the little old lady replied "WHAT?!?!?!", and he repeated "Um, she looks very beautiful this morning." And the lady turned to me and said, "You really do." And then we saw a really big plush horse, discarded in the middle of the sidewalk.
- Catching a street car on St. Clair, this really old couple came over to me and told me all of their problems - they haven't been in this end of the city in 40 years, and they're very lost, and they just want to get back on the Yonge-University line. I assured them that I could get them there, and they stood flanking me, so encroached upon my personal space that anyone walking by would assume that I was a beloved granddaughter, and not a complete stranger with a rudimentary knowledge of the subway system.
- Last week I walked to Dufferin Mall on a day it was supposed to rain - I figured the rain would alleviate the heat and make the walk more bearable. But it never did rain. So when I got to my destination I made a beeline for the vending machine, where some dude bought his beverage and then offered to buy mine so gallantly that you'd swear he'd just offered me a bottle of Dom instead of flat Pepsi.
- On the walk back, a guy dismounted from his bike, panting, and sheepishly admitted how hot it was. He walked his bike beside me for several blocks, asking me all the standard pre-asking-out-on-a-date questions, and while I felt somewhat relieved (because he was cute, and my age, whereas a good many of the flirters are not), I mostly felt grossed out, because what the hell is he doing picking me up when I look like this? (note: "like this"= walking "shorts" that used to be ugly pants that I shortened myself, a shirt the colour of cantaloupe flesh, which usually only attracts bees, unwashed hair in a scrappy ponytail, nothing on my face except sunscreen and sweat. Not hot.
- A man with white chest hair peaking out from between the strained buttons of his denim shirt tapped me on the shoulder to tell me that I was a classy and refined kind of woman. "Know how I can tell?" he asked, and I wrinkled my nose instead of answering, but he told me anyway: "It's because you have such delicate ankles. You can tell a lot from a woman's ankles." I'm not sure if this line used to work in 1957, but I wasn't buying it. In fact, I do not even have particularly delicate ankles. Get a clue.
- Not two blocks later another man came running up behind me, and I moved over so he could run by, but instead he slowed down and said "Whew, I caught you" which I pretended not to hear. "You look like you could use some company" he said, which I pretended not to hear. "Do you maybe want to sit and talk" which I also ignored. And then I made yet another last-minute, unplanned turned down an unknown street to ditch a guy I don't know.
- I was sitting on a park bench reading Death of the Heart, and a guy in a suit sat down beside me, close. And he bumped my leg with his leg. And then he did it again. And then he kind of rubbed them together, which prompted me to say "Don't touch me", which I thought was clear. Until he rubbed some more. So I said "If you do that again, I'm going to yell PERVERT!", and I kind of yelled it then a bit too, so he got up and left.
- I was having a little stroll around the neighbourhood after the sun went down, and an older woman in a shawl was waiting for the light to change. "I like to walk at night time" she told me. "Me too", I said "it's so much less hot." "Oh yes, the heat, all day I take ice baths. But me, I walk at night because it's quiet and too many people make me wobble. I wear the special pantyhose, but still I wobble on the swelled ankles. I eat many apples a day but it never stops." We passed by a house that lots of birdcages hanging from the porch, and she said "Some people are so strange."