An Open Letter to the Creepy Man on My Commute This Morning

Dear Formaldehyde,

Can I call you that?

This morning you made me feel like disappearing.

Your ceaseless staring was not a compliment. You see, it stops being that when you, unsmiling and more castle than cottage in stature, choose to permanently fix your gaze on a stranger and not turn away. Not once. I am going to assume that no one taught you about the subtleties of flirtatious eye contact? I found it…and you…disquieting.

Ordinarily I would half-smile and avert my eyes as a way of invisibly saying “thank you but I’m not interested.” However, this morning I didn’t feel like smiling. Despite it being my usual disposition, I intentionally refrained from grinning for fear of seemingly encouraging you.

That’s what you wanted right? A reaction…or rather, some interaction? Don’t you find it worrying that I have a tried and tested method for these kinds of scenarios? Is this sort of behaviour common for you? Have you gotten positive feedback in the past?

After a busy week packed with full days and late nights, I am exhausted and simply wanted to write and listen to my music in peace.

You disrupted that peace.

I wished [in that moment] I was the sort of person who lacked spatial awareness and was oblivious to the action around them. But I am not. I’m observant and hypersensitive to changes in behaviour in close proximity. Have you ever felt the awkwardness of rapacious eyes, fixated and unrelenting, on you?

It is worse than the gaze of an irate parent but comes with the same uneasiness bubbling in the pit of ones stomach, wondering what the consequences may be later. You made me wonder what you were going to do next.

Something to make you aware of; eyeing a woman sat directly opposite you, less than a foot away, licking your lips and never once breaking your gaze is unnerving. Only moving to look her up and down makes it worse.

This morning you made me want to climb out of my skin. Your behaviour was an irritant – like chemicals on aforementioned skin I [temporarily] wished I could shed. Thank God I can’t and I won’t. I shouldn’t have to feel that way.

This is not the first time. I have seen you before but was further away and thus able to move and avoid your gaze. The next time I see you, if I let you go without loudly and eloquently speaking my mind, I would be remiss in my responsibilities as a woman more confident than your next potential victim.

It’s not funny nor is it endearing and attractive.

I named you formaldehyde because like this naturally-occurring organic compound, you have importance in this world afforded to you by virtue of your gender alone. Men like you Formaldehyde, are widespread, toxic and possess a volatility that is a significant danger to human health.

Grow up and stop being so creepy.

From,
A Woman Small in Stature but Substantial in Self-Assurance

8 thoughts on “An Open Letter to the Creepy Man on My Commute This Morning

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