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I got bothered by a bloke on my way home yesterday. I'm fine, more bemused and angry than anything else. But... I dunno, I feel like 'for the record'ing these things is.... useful?

Was walking home from the station at around midnight. I do this probably three nights a week, sometimes with Rosie, sometimes on my own. This time, on my own.

A bloke is riding his bicycle along the pavement. He rides up level with me and starts going along at my pace. On the road side, blocking me in. And he says 'You can suck me off, if you like'.

'No. Thankyou.'

'For free. You can suck me off for free.'

'No. Thankyou. Mate.'

I pick up my pace, aware that this is completely futile cos he's on a fucking bike. I've got my keys out in my hand. I've actually got swiss army knife on me, but it's inaccessible in the bottom of my bag. I start thinking about how that will go against me if there's a court case: but she had a knife, if she'd wanted him to stop, she could have made him.

And I'm thinking, which line do I use? 'My partner wouldn't approve' or 'You're not my type', which I use on the tube, if there are witnesses, is too likely to lead to violence. I've called him 'mate', I've said, 'thankyou' - I don't want to insult him, I don't want to give him the excuse. We're all friends here. You don't rape your friends. Right?

I realise I am more angry that I've been polite to him than I am afraid. And... bemused. Does he ever actually pick up girls like this? Presumably not. He must be doing this for the reaction. Another reason for 'mate', I need him to know he hasn't scared me, that whatever he's trying to get out of this, I'm not a fucking victim. You ain't gonna get off on my fear, arsehole. You ain't gonna see that I'm intimidated.

I pick up my pace even more - fucking bicycle, but I'm nearly home. He lets me overtake him, calls after me...

'I can give you my number. You can call me. You can suck me off any time.'

'No. Thankyou. Mate.'

I consider telling him to fuck right off, but don't. I'm aware that I'm turning into my flats, which means that now he knows where I live.

I'm bizzarely unafraid. Not upset. Not like the first few times this ever happened to me. I feel completely blase about it. So much so that when Rosie says something to me as I come through the door, it goes right out of my mind and I don't even tell her about it until later.

But, also, angry that it's common enough that I've gotten used to it.

I'm actually wondering if it's worth going to the police. I know that research suggests that people escalate from that kind of verbal harassment and intimidation to much worse crimes.
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July 2011

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