Although I’ve been claiming the Kensington zip-code as my own, and I now am the proud bearer of both a New York Public Library Card, and an Access Brooklyn Card, I didn’t really feel like a true New Yorker until early on Sunday morning when a man on the F train stared right at me and rubbed one out.
I came across a report on the Gothamist Blog a few weeks ago that said something like 63% of subway assaults go unreported, and the MTA, in light of all the crap they’re taking for the talk of increasing fares despite poor quality, urged it’s riders to take action and report these incidents.
When I read that posting a few weeks back, I thought of the incident that I experienced in April, when a man holding a bottle of vodka and wearing a hospital bracelet first touched my head and talked about how pretty my hair was, then touched my knee and made some pretty whacky generalizations about where I lived and what my boyfriend must be like, and finally, after I complained (cuz afterall,the guy was creepy, and wearing a hospital bracelet) he screamed about wanting to shove his bottle of vodka into my c*%t. At that point the train was stopped and he was arrested, and I and another woman got off to file a report, there was another woman on the train who was harassed, but she decided to stay on the train and get on with her evening because she had plans and was already running late. That amazed me, and I remember thinking, wow, this is New York, huh? no time to file an assault case….
In just three or so months of living here, I’ve gotten used to creepy people. I feel comfy walking down the streets of my neighborhood at 3am, although I admit that it’s not particularly smart. I’ve perfected my “subway stare”…. And despite a few stupid mistakes, like leaving the house without cash… for the most part, I feel confident that I can take care of myself and know how to avoid dangerous situations.
Sunday morning @ about 5am, Matt and I got on an F train in Queens and set our alarms for an hour, which was the amount of time we figured it would take us to get back to Church Ave. I guess we woke up around West 4th and changed positions… I remember being amazed that we were getting closer, it didn’t feel like we had been underground that long. Matt had his head in my lap, and I was playing with his hair and scratching his head, and drifting in and out, when I got this feeling that I was being watched. I have no idea how long this guy had been watching us, and I can’t remember how long I stared at him, but I looked up and saw a guy wearing jeans and a T-shirt, hands down his pants fully whackin’it, no shame, no attempt at hiding, just starin’ and whackin’. I stared at the guy for a while, and although he knew that I was staring he just kept going. I wasn’t scared, unlike my experience a few months back, I was more amazed at how blatant this guy was being. I’m not sure what made him stop around Jay Street, but he pulled his hands out and slumped on the window and “slept” the rest of the way home.
I haven’t thought very much about it since, until I read this posting today.
In case you’re wondering the outcome of all three of these stories with the police…….ummmmm, a big fat nothing. Surprised? I’m not…. And that is what makes me a real New Yorker- I’ve stopped caring.