To Walk Alone at Night
This world pisses me off most of the time, it really does. This is one of many reasons why.
Not so long ago I was making the journey to my local tube station that I regularly make, dressed in black sandals, a red cardigan, black leggings and a white sleeveless top. (Once you've stopped laughing at my total lack of fashion sense, please forgive me my description of my clothes. It does turn out to be vaguely relevant.) It was just after ten in the morning on a Monday, and to get there I had to pass through a wonderfully pretentious upper-middle-class area.
There was a white van driving down the road; I paid it no heed. It pulled over to the far side of the road, where I was walking, and slowed down. If my memory serves me correctly, the driver parked. I carried on towards the tube station. The van crawled along the far side of the road, more or less keeping pace with me, and at one point, while I was passing some workers, the driver motioned in my direction and said something; I can't remember what. I assumed he was speaking to the workers and continued on my way, but I was a little scared by this point and when I came to turn the corner to get to the station, I desperately hoped that he wouldn't turn with me.
Thankfully we'd turned onto a slightly busier road and he stuck to the side that he should have been driving on, but all the same he pulled over and motioned for me to get in. I kept walking. He kept driving.
At this point I'm ashamed to admit that rather than confronting him somehow, or at least telling him to fuck off, I quickened my pace and hurried into the station, at which point he stopped following me. The rest of the day was happily spent in Hampstead buying books and ambling round the Heath in inappropriate footwear, but the incident stuck in my mind.
I think it was those last two statements that offended me, and which I've been turning over in my mind for a fair while now. I wasn't wearing "provocative clothing" (whatever that actually is) that day, and even if I had been, it would have been the driver's fault for stalking me, not mine for wearing revealing clothes.