I'm a horrible person.
It seems recently that this blog has become for me a place of confession.
I'm not proud of what I'm about to write, but since it happened several days ago and it's still bothering me, here goes nothing.
We were heading down to the movies on Saturday. It was a nice day and winter was in retreat. This is good - it's warm. This is not so good - it brings out the yahoos. As I have been visually different all my life I have been subject to things that some of my friends, who experience them with me the first time, are distressed that I have come to see as commonplace. Strolling down a major street in a major city on a day where the sun is out and having, inevitably, at least one car full of aforesaid yahoos drive by with one leaning out the car hollering 'yo lardass' 'hey, fat fuck' or other charming things is a given, an expectation. Vancouver's Robson street on a warm day is the most hostile place on the planet for someone of my size and shape, there it happens six or seven times in a few block radius. I will no longer visit that street.
I saw them before I heard them. A car full of 'youthugs' heading up Yonge street. On cue one of them leaned out of the car. I braced myself. Then I heard him and realized that he was targeting a very pretty woman a few feet ahead of me with lewd comments.
And I was relieved.
I'm a horrible person.
I know that.
I should have wanted to take the bully for her. But instead I simply let my heart slow back down in my chest. It wasn't me that time. Joe and I kept on going and so did she. Finally, screwing up my courage, I sped ahead and caught up to her, driving beside her for a couple of seconds before saying, 'That shouldn't happen to you.' She smiled, she was really beautiful, 'You get used to it.' I looked at her and said, 'No, you don't.' It took her a second to realize what I was saying and how I knew. She stopped and said, 'No, you don't do you?'
'No,' I said, 'and that's what makes it always wrong.'
She looked as if she was going to cry and she reached out and patted my shoulder, and said simply, 'Thanks.'
I wanted to tell her that I didn't deserve the thanks but that would have meant betraying her again with the truth of my reaction. The contract she has with society to be safe was broached, twice. Once by them. Once by me. One victim should never be pleased that another was chosen. Never.
I know better.
So does he.
He trusted in my silence.
Don't try me again.