Tuesday, October 31, 2006

misty watercolor memories

No pictures for these, unfortunately, but now that I’ve found “Hollaback Chicago”, I’d like to share my list (yes, I have a list) of experiences in Chicago, which have happened since I moved here 15 years ago…

c.1991 – Late morning. Man walking behind me in the Edgewater neighborhood, near the Granville Red Line station: “You got some big legs! I like them big legs!”

Mid-1990s – Early evening. Drunk man sitting behind me on the Red Line train, going north to Evanston: “Oooh, you got such nice long hair. You wouldn’t mind if I touched your hair, would you? Such nice, pretty long hair.” The minute the drunk man touches my hair I jump up and move to the doorway. Other man standing nearby tells me, sympathetically, “It happens to the best of us.”

Mid-1990s – Evening. Walking along Fullerton Ave. towards Clark St. with a male friend after seeing a movie. Tall young man walking quickly towards us on my left reaches out and grabs my left breast as he passes. I turn around shocked (male friend is totally oblivious to what just happened). The breast-grabber turns back, looking at me over his shoulder. I make like I’m going to run after him and he runs away.

Late 1990s – A sunny, summer weekend afternoon. Sunbathing in a swimsuit on the lawn in the park near Fullerton Ave. and Stockton Ave. Other women and men sunbathing nearby. All of a sudden a guy on a bike “accidentally” FALLS ON TOP OF ME. Stunned, I start yelling, “Get the fuck off of me!!!! God damn you, get off me, motherfucker!!!” over and over while hitting/punching the guy, who takes his sweet time getting up. I try to hit him as hard as I can, swearing at the guy as he gets on his bike and rides off without saying a word. (I wish I had had a knife with me.)

Late 1990s – Another sunny, summer weekend afternoon. A year or so after the previous incident. Same location, sunbathing along with others on a beautiful day. Two men pass by, a tall guy and a short guy. Tall guy yells over to me, “Lady, you sure are HEALTHY!!!” He repeats this phrase a couple of times, while his short friend tries to move him along and tells him to quiet down.

There are more on my list, including various moments on the CTA with strange men A) pressing their thighs into mine, or B) pressing their groins into my ass. But these are the most annoying/freaky. I'm going to ask for a camera cell phone for Christmas so I can be equipped and ready to HOLLABACK next time!

--submited by Margaret