This evening, after dark, on my pitch black street, a man crept up behind me in a light blue SUV as I was walking away from the house I’ve been living in for a mere ten days, and asked me if I am going to the skytrain and if he can give me a ride. I told him no, I don’t get into cars with people I don’t know, and immediately started typing his license plate number into a text message on my phone as the vehicle pulled away. Here’s a picture I took of the street, while standing on the sidewalk across the street:
There are no sidewalks on the street I live on.
The only street lamp shines on a cement median at the end of the lane, so that drivers don’t go straight into forest.
That little tiny flicker of light on the left is actually a patio light on someone’s house, across the street from mine.
Though I typically wear sunglasses everywhere I go, I can’t see where I’m going on this street if I’m still wearing them. I had just inserted my left earbud when I heard the man’s vehicle creeping up to my right. I heard him say something, so I looked, expecting him to ask me something about directions I wouldn’t be able to give. I didn’t recognize him.
But no. He asked me if he could give me a ride to the skytrain. The very moment I heard this, I thought he must be a neighbour. Then I thought, “If he is, what the fuck is he thinking?”
Less than a block from three different bus routes that all go to the skytrain, he enquired into whether or not I, a complete stranger, would get into his vehicle and trust him to take me to the skytrain without any ulterior motives.
No, sir, that is not appropriate under any circumstances, let alone in the fucking dark.
Am I Being Oversensitive?
No, I’m being exactly as sensitive as anyone with my history (who doesn’t currently harbour a secret death wish) should be. A history you can’t know just by watching me lock my front door before I am submerged in shadow on a dark street.
I’ve been beaten, molested, sodomized, and raped by multiple perpetrators. I’m not going to disclose exactly when that started, but I will tell you that I’m not talking in double-digits. Many were known to me. Some were not.
I’ve been approached many times in public while just minding my own business, by men looking for paid sexual services. In broad daylight. None of them were known to me.
I’ve been stalked by multiple perpetrators. Some were known to me. Some were not.
I’ve been followed around by men in cars. They just kept pulling up and stopping, watching me walk in front of their vehicle, at every corner for multiple consecutive blocks. None of them were known to me.
And none of this is acceptable. Don’t do that. Ever.
Update: As it turns out, one of my two flatmates was on the phone with this man at the time of this incident. He told my flatmate “Oh, look, someone just came out of your house, I’ll offer them a ride”, and my flatmate rather wisely said “Dude, don’t do that. You’ll freak people out.”
Listen to your friends, buddy.