To keep myself occupied I am writing about people I run into.
Please keep in mind that this is somewhat fictional and just an exercise in interpreting people, their intentions, and how they might perceive the world.
A neighbour sometimes joins us in the patio area. He is a bit off-putting, and sometimes mentions doing outlandish sexual behavior, like running naked in the streets. He says stuff like this out of the blue, without any reference to the conversation happening, especially if a woman is around.
You never know if he is just kidding but the look in his eyes gives me the creeps, and he seems to do it to test the boundaries of the women in his presence. He never thinks he is doing anything wrong; he never means it, or so he says, and it is all in jest.
She asks to borrow a hammer and he shows up to his door without a shirt on, with an aggressive wide-eyed leer. She makes a mental note to watch his behavior and be careful.
In other ways he seems alright; divorced, and with daughters. He loves his daughters and he cares deeply for them and you can tell there is this gentle side to him. But his comments always come at the most awkward of moments, and seem to make you feel ill at ease.
He claims his wife falsely accused him of rape. He makes you think it is plausible because usually it is only women who do these things; it’s hard to discern when a man is just lying to play victim, when he did indeed rape his wife.
The comments start up as Instagram DMs telling her to wear that short skirt again, like she did at the barbecue. The comments start off as unwarranted, and out of the blue. She is embarrassed and tells him she’s uncomfortable with men telling her how to dress.
Later he apologizes saying he doesn’t really mean it, and again, “it’s just a joke.”
Now that the apology has been given he felt he could keep running with his little “joke.”
The jokes become increasingly suggestive about having sex with her. She says no, and he tries to re-assure her it’s a joke.
But it’s no joke, and really it is only an attempt to toy with her boundaries, and get her alone with him. She was supposed to drive him somewhere as promised, but she put her foot down.
She said it was no joke, and the comments were extremely unwelcome, and that he was to never contact her again.
Satisfied with setting her boundaries she saved the offending texts and decided to keep quiet.
As predicted he played victim, and suggested she was overreacting, and even possibly lying. It was just a joke and he owed her nothing, especially the money he actually owed her.
To her he was nothing more than a creepy lying bum who demanded money and more of his partners than he would ever give them. She wasn’t even his partner so seeing him act like that as a mere acquaintance was alarming.
The rumours made their way back to her and she made a mental note to watch and listen and stay away from the people he socializes with.
He befriended a man whom he claimed was sexually inappropriate towards women. Ironically this is the man he bashed on her to for simply saying no to his behavior.
How is she lying when it was all in writing, and she hadn’t actually said anything? He made it sound as if she was just over-reacting. He called her a liar to the same man he warned her to stay away from because he would be a detriment to her well-being.
Oh the irony.
And it’s jokes like these that disempower women. He was just there to drag her down. She meant no harm and was honest about her boundaries and lack of comfort.
He lashed out because she said no and potentially set her up to be victimized by others by trashing her character.
She made a mental note to consider carrying mace, or putting a light hand-weight in her purse in case she was ever confronted more aggressively. She is small and he is a large man, and he threw her under the bus to people who could bring her harm, all because she said no firmly.