I was taking the subway from work to a hotel for some interviews (because parking in Hollywood can go fuck itself). But I’d missed the train I was aiming for, so I sat on a bench and hunched over my notebook to work on my questions.
Well, not really a bench — LA subway stations have these long double-wide slabs that serve both tracks, with no divider between them. On my side were a woman traveling alone, a woman with her under-10 daughter and, on the other side of the bench, facing the opposite direction, a large man.
The large man turned around, tried to engage the kid in conversation by telling her she was pretty. She didn’t say anything, shy and nervous. So he called her a bitch. He then began pestering the other woman, who asked him to stop. He ignored her.
The three of them stood up and moved away — I was still trying to write, so I stayed seated. And he decided the time was right to lay back across the entirety of the bench, arms spread, and tap my hip repeatedly.
I told him to stop. He wouldn’t. So I got up and moved to another bench down the way, because time was short and I had work to do.
I didn’t see out station security. I didn’t do anything, really. I just retreated. And that’s the way it feels. Like I lost.
I don’t know if he was drunk or crazy or mean or just mad at the world. But… God, this wasn’t even a big deal. No crime, no trauma. Just another day.