Thursday, June 7, 2012

Mama Bean is flipping the virtual bird at that creepy guy...

Today, I did week 5 day 3 of couch-to-5K, which is jogging for 20 minutes (or 3.2 km). When I was about halfway, I turned at the corner into this little parking lot that opens onto the end of a field across from our community centre. There was an SUV parked there, young 20s-ish guy sitting there with the window open. I jogged past, and he gave me a really creepy once-over, with his hand over his mouth in the universal gesture for I'm-a-super-creep-who-sees-you-as-an-object. (It's sometimes used by handsome actor types when they're trying to be sultry-meets-bashful, you know, the Canadian Ryans - Gosling and Reynolds - they're masters of it. Now you have it in your mind? It was creepy.) I jogged across the parking lot and field, cut across the alley and open lot onto the road by the school, and back up to the community arteriole (not quite a main drag, but those that live in the community use it to avoid the traffic on the main drag, you know?) About two blocks down, I feel before I see the same SUV drive slowly up behind me. And then he paces me. Just driving next to me, looking out his window, waiting for me to acknowledge him. I sort of just looked at him, and he did a weird nod, and kept pacing me. I was really scared. And then he turned at the next intersection away from me. And I remained scared all the way home.

I think the adrenaline of fear is the only reason I made it all 20 minutes. And for the first time since we've lived here, I found the quiet peacefulness of our street ("Oh what a nice quiet street!") to be threatening. Too quiet. Too alone. I have never been more relieved, for reasons totally unrelated to how tired my legs might be, to walk into my garage. And lock the door behind me.

You know, when I saw him sitting at the opening of the parking lot, I should have jogged straight to Main Street, a block away, and jogged home the long way along it, the busiest road in the city. I should not have cut through the empty lot. I should have stayed on the side of the side street with houses, so I could easily run up to a yard or front door, should he have re-appeared, instead of running on the side with the school. I should have looked at his fucking license plate! I should have flipped him the bird, or asked if he needed directions. I should have taken my ipod off so I could hear what was going on around me. I should have stopped that women with the two big dogs and asked her to turn around, out of her way, and walk the rest of the way home with me. I should have, could have done so many things differently.

And now I'm left shaken, agitated. Worried about going jogging again, in this neighbourhood I've always felt is so safe. I run when it's light out. I don't take the same route every day (I do three days/one week along one route, and then switch it up.) I resent that I feel the need to make these precautions, because I'm a woman, because I'm a target. I resent it but do it anyway. 

All before I even consider that this creepy guy exists in a world where my perfect, innocent children also exist. And then my head and my heart implode, and I have to stop thinking about this... sometimes, I hate this world.


  1. Another advantage to running???? is that I tend to get more agro on long runs. One day a dude running my park brushed me because he expected me to move off the track to make way for him, and I didn't. He made some jackwad comment and I totally turned around and ran right at him and started yelling "What!??? Are you seriously going to mess with a girl!!??? What!!!??? What dude!!!"

  2. Hugs! You should have just been able to have done whatever it was you had planned before the creepy guy had shown up. The creepy guy should learn to stay at home, in the hole he crawled out from.

  3. Crazy and so not okay on many levels. Perhaps worth calling the police to let them know that someone is out there creeping. I sometimes feel like we are too polite in these situations. A guy came to my house early for our garage sale (like several hours) and then asked to use the washroom as well. I should have said Hell no (my son and I were home alone) but I didn't. And then felt completely weirded out and scared while he was in the washroom. Well I will do differently next time as will you. Just sucks we have to be so aware of others, especially in what we consider a safe place like our community or home.

  4. I miss you....

    I would have been scared to death. I'm jumpy, people scare me, dark, alone, strangers, woods... I'm terrified of "that guy" getting me. I probably would have just had a heart attack right there. I am so glad you made it home safely. If there is a next time you'd better do all of the options you mentioned!!