Preface: This post was originally published on 10/12/2006. I was living in Victoria at the time and working as a maid. My early 20s was a constant battle against lecherous weirdos vying for my attention. I’m not sure whether the reason I don’t run into these situations as often anymore is because I’m now in my crusty mid-30s or because I’ve trained myself to flat-out ignore any guy who tries to stop me on the streets. I suspect it’s both.
October 12, 2006
I had a bunch of random encounters with strangers today. What was it about me today that made me appear more approachable? Was it the lack of mascara? If so, I’m not going to leave the house ever again without a threatening coat of black mascara. Most strangers are nice, normal people but those strangers were elsewhere today, perhaps doing normal crosswords in their normal homes with their normal families, leaving me with nothing but freaks to run into while I went about my business today.
Stranger #1 wasn’t so bad, he reminded me of Steven Wright in appearance. We had passed each other in the morning, he smiled at me and I meekly returned the smile. It wasn’t until an hour later when we got to really know each other.
I saw him come in the opposite direction and was prepared to give another shy smile. But this guy wanted more. He stopped on the sidewalk and started to speak; this was then when he learned the first thing about me, that I was deaf. I was hoping he’d just apologize like most people do and carry on because I didn’t feel like digging into my backpack for a pen and pad of paper as I can never seem to retrieve one fast enough and always end up feeling really awkward. Instead, he guided his index finger to the ground, “What’s that?” he asked.
What’s what? I had to look at what he was pointing at to get what he was asking me. Was it my right foot that was confusing him?
Oh. My mop.
“It’s a mop,” I mouthed, while imaginarily mopping the sidewalk.
“Ohhh!” He had gotten his clairification. That’s me, always teaching people new things. Although the mop I carry around isn’t what most people picture a mop to be (Cinderella style, with fabric spaghetti that does nothing more than just swirl dirt around), what else could it have possibly been? A giant razor?
Stranger #2 also used his index finger to communicate his question to me. With this finger, he instructed me to twirl around; he had noticed my calf tattoo and wanted to see the one I had on my other leg. I knew the drill: let people get a close-up, receive compliment, thank them for the compliment and leave. But this guy took a different route and handed me a note, “Are those ferries?”
Oh! Fairies. N. o.
I saved the best for last: Stranger #3. I had long ditched the mop I had spent all morning carrying, leaving nothing about myself worthy of noticing. Or so I thought. A bus had pulled over at the stop in front of me and a guy wearing a do-rag emerged from the doors. He looked to be about my age and including his do-rag, he was mostly dressed in black. He wasted no time approaching me and introduced himself, all while his mouth was full of food. He prattled on about whatever until I stopped him with a wave of my hand, “I’m deaf” I let him know, pointing at my ear. Rather than assuming that I possessed the superior lipreading abilities that all deaf people apparently have, he did something nobody had ever done to me before: he stuck out his hand in front of my face, and in his hand was a Reeses Peanut Butter cup; a few more millimeters and it would’ve touched my lips. It wasn’t even a fresh cup, he had already taken a bite out of it; I hate Reeses peanut butter cups, and I hate them coated with weirdo cooties even more!
I looked at him for a moment thinking to myself, “did this guy seriously just try to get me to eat out of his hand?” He figured I wasn’t hungry and switched the peanut butter cup with an almost-full 26er of malt whiskey. Yeah, maybe some alcohol will loosen me up.
“No… no… no…” I carefully backed up before darting across the street and into the market. If he were the last person on earth, I STILL wouldn’t eat a peanut butter cup and drink whiskey with him.
Gross. I’d rather teach Steven Wright dude about the wonders of janitoral equipment while stroking his fluffy hair.