I had a great day yesterday. Really.
I spent all day with writers of all ages at a conference. My main job was to make sure the teen writers were getting as much out of the conference as they wanted. They were all thrilled to be there and learn from established industry professionals (and so was I)! These young writers reminded me that the future of literature is in enthusiastic and talented hands.
All in all, a pretty great and inspiring day.
So this is my question: As I fall asleep tonight, why am I so distracted? Why am I not just happy with how the day went?
On my way to the conference at 6:30am, I walked down a relatively deserted street towards a coffee shop. The only other person was a man walking towards me. As we approached eachother I nodded as a polite hello at which point he stopped:
Him: Do you speak English?
My assumption was that he might need directions or something and he hadn’t found anyone able to help.
Him: Can I have your number?
I walked away as fast as I could as he took a few steps to follow me. I gripped my bag, and prepared to run if necessary. As I approached the main street–also deserted–an unmarked taxi pulled up next to me. I gritted my teeth and walked as fast as I could toward the coffee shop as the car drove alongside me for a few feet.
By the time I had my morning coffee, I felt shaken and scared, but it was time to shake it off and get on with my day.
I could write forever about why street harrassment is rude and disrespectful. One day you’ll probably see posts on this blog that saying just that.
However, first and foremost, street harrassment is a threat. It is the threat that it might go further.
After an incredible day at a conference, all I can think about is the best way to safely get there tomorrow morning.