Soooooo, I did not tell a lie when I spoke of the crazy NYC stories that randomly occur! I recently found myself on the train again to get to an appointment more conveniently than it would have been to drive. So I grabbed my Crazy Train Lady mask & hopped on the iron horse! Again, I noticed the stares, avoidance, etc. So what! As long as I was protecting myself from the coughers, hackers, & germers, it was worth it. Right?!?
As I took a seat on the Shuttle, I was pretty sure I saw a flash go off from the phone of the guy sitting across from me ……as if he had just taken my picture in a creepy sneak attempt! I was stuck on pause. How should I proceed? Should I confront him? What power did I have in that moment to question, confront, & control what was happening without getting caught up in something crazy that would become ‘an incident’? The camera went off again as the guy took another picture of something / someone on the train. Was he really taking a bunch of random pics or was he trying to play it off that I just caught him trying to capture me in my crazy train lady attire???
At that same moment, I saw another guy standing over the pic taker….the stern overseer was looking hard at the phone of the creep pic taker (30-ish yr old white guy with jeans, a tee, glasses, & a Mets baseball cap) as he shifted awkwardly & mumbled to himself and continued fidgeting with his phone . The standing overseer was a heavier, sturdier, black male, also in his 30’s in jeans & a button down shirt that resembled outdoor bbq / picnic table festivities. We made eye contact. He read my thoughts. Had creepy guy taken a picture of me? He watched Creepy scroll through his phone & I waited for him to confirm…..It was like he was reading my mind! My subliminals were saying ‘Help a girl out & spy to tell me if Mr.Weirdo McCreep A Lot captured me in his phone, pleeease!’ His eyes said ‘I’m working on it …. buffering …. downloading …. uploading …. ding, ding, ding, ding!!! Houston we have a winner!’ The Overseer blurts out ‘Yo Sis, he took your picture!!!’
Well honey, that’s all I needed! Me: Did you take a picture of me??? Because I didn’t give you permission to take my picture & I don’t want to be in your phone! Creep: (stammer, stammer, hem, hem, haw, haw) No, I didn’t mean to. I was just taking pics of the train! Me (as I get up and stand over him in his space): Well can you delete it in front of me right now? Creep: Yeah, sure (fumbles through phone, avoids eye contact & nervously deletes as he tries to explain to the passenger next to who him who is trying to be neutral & polite – yet not really involved).
So just as I thought the Crazy Train Lady shenanigans were done for the day….The Brutha-Man Overseer did not want to let it go. His angst was clearly building as he rocked side to side. He was not done with the issue. Hence his outburst….. OverSeer: Yo, if it was me – I would have broke your fucking phone. I’m just letting you know, you know you don’t do that shit! Creep: (mumbles all sorts of awkward things but still avoids eye contact). This exchange repeated a few times with the same language and aggression. Finally, an outburst from Creepy: Just take my fucking phone, man. Just take it. I’m just gonna get the police! Take it! Take it! Overseer: I’m just saying…
And then there was silence. And out of the silence comes the randomness. Creepy: What’s your name, man? (as if he wanted to call a truce & be friendly) Overseer: (rolled his eyes & ignored Creepy as if to say pu-lease!!!).
And on that note…Thank God for my train stop coming up right on time! And thank God for safety provisions. Sheesh! So my perspective is that Crazy Train Lady situations can go any way. I’m grateful, but weirded-out how it went down this time. Glad it didn’t end up on the evening news. My perspective DID shift from this experience because I will admit to trying to sneak a pic of a stranger in public recently. I will not do it again. It’s a clear violation of privacy. Well at the very least, I’ll have enough decency in the future to turn off my flash & camera sound! Ha! A little hypocritical double-standard work in progress….but I’m working on it! It’s ALL a lesson in perspective! What’s YOUR perspective on all this?!?