You know, I'm sorry, I really wanted to blog about something hopeful today. But, the icing on the cake this week (this awful, heartrending week) was that I was touched without my permission on the way to work this morning.
I feel soiled.
I fully admit I was overly engrossed in my phone as I walked down the street. I looked up; oh, cafe tables on the street ahead, must step right to avoid collision. As I did so, I felt a hand brush against my thigh, the bottom of my bum. I swerved; thinking I'd stepped in front of someone and got in the way. So I had, sort of. He was walking purposefully forward, backpack on, sandy cropped hair, rumpled clothing. I wasn't directly in his path. I turned back around and kept walking.
A full three seconds later, I felt it again.
That time it was clear. A full, deliberate, open handswipe down the right side of my bum and thigh. I spun with a breathy 'hey', shocked, and the fucker didn't even register. Kept right on walking.
Me, full of words and opinions, was speechless. 7.45am, crowded public place. I debated with myself: did that really just happen? Am I sure it wasn't an accident? It wasn't; I know what I felt, I'd had a chance to register the space between us after the first swipe and it was big enough that he would have had to deliberately move into my space to touch me again, some time and a few steps after the original. As I blanked, he veered around the corner and I crossed the road with the lights. For five minutes, I kept checking my back, brushing off the invisible finger marks he left.
What the fuck. I thought about saying something further, out loud, but it was a busy public space and I didn't want the shame of accusation. There shouldn't be any shame in accusation, but my mind was spinning with 'everyone will think you're being hysterical. It was just an accidental commuter brush'. I'm really angry with myself now for staying quiet because I know it wasn't and that bastard deserved to get served a volley of abuse.
In the scheme of things, not that much. But still fucking illegal. ILLEGAL. You do not get to touch me without my permission. You have made me feel disgusting and you didn't appear to give one single shit.