I was half an hour early for a meeting at Garden City mall and decided to take a rest upon one of the benches to pass the time.
Now, these benches are large enough to fit two people, while maintaining a comfortable body distance between them. While three can perch upon them comfortably, I find the little body distance separation unnerving. I have body distance issues. Even feeling a stranger’s shoulder brushing against mine in a car drives me crazy.
Unfortunately for me, two gentlemen approached me. There were two other empty benches to the right of us, but one of the gentlemen came straight to my bench and sat directly in the middle, forcing me to shift a little to the edge while leaving no space for his friend. The friend stood there a little awkwardly.
“Eh, what’s the matter?” Man 1 (let’s call him Cow) said to his friend. “You’re afraid to squeeze the madam? Kale, me I’ll do it. You come and sit”.
The arrogance of it. The sheer and utter arrogance of it. I said nothing while he pushed me a little bit more, to make way for his friend. I knew what was coming and wanted nothing to do with it. I pretended to be very busy on my phone.
“Hello!” Cow said in a familiar manner, leering flirtatiously at me. “How are you today?”
“I’m afraid I’m busy”, I responded, with a polite smile, and went back to my phone. I shouldn’t have smiled.
“My name is David”, he continued, in the kind of authoritative tone that demanded a reply from me.
“That’s nice”, I said, and continued tapping away. He didn’t hesitate a beat.
“Aren’t you going to tell me your name?”
“No”, I said firmly, turning to look at him. “I am not in the habit of giving my name to strangers”.
“And how do you expect to make new friends?” he pressed.
I’m too old for this nonsense.
“Piss off”, I snapped. He jumped a little, and then jeered at me.
“Who cares? You can keep your name!”
That’s right. Stick to your corner.