Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Mass Transit And Me

So, I've been writing about how I'm really trying hard to cut back on driving and take the bus and T here in Boston.

I've really gotten into it. I know the lines, the transfer stations, the bus routes, the bus numbers, you name it.

I feel like a good green citizen, but today, well, it happened again.

Some guy started talking to me, unsolicited.

He felt he must tell me he didn't like my boots.

I honestly find it incredible that men feel free to say any goddamned thing to a woman in public.

I didn't like HIS boots.

I didn't like HIS clothes.

I didn't like much about him, but do I feel I have the right to go up to him and say, "I can't stand those boots you're wearing!"

Unfortunately there are creeps in the subways who feel free to invade my privacy and right to ride mass transit uninterrupted.

I had a conversation with a girlfriend today about why it happens on the subway, but not often on the bus. She had an insight that made tons of sense. It's all about the bus driver. The fact that there is a driver to complain to probably silences many people. The subway feels different -- impersonal. The bus feels like people from one neighborhood going to another neighborhood -- it feels rooted.

The whole exchange really annoyed me. Of course I didn't say anything but just walked away. Walked away with the knowledge that the subway isn't safe for me and my privacy is not in my hands, it belongs to others. Walked away fuming mad really.