That I should care and treat him differently because the employees there do? I was hard-pressed to figure out a way to tell this man that I didn’t want to talk to him, that I wanted him to leave me alone, that even though I was replying to him, I was not interested, that his advances and insinuations were not a compliment and were insulting.
It was certainly a comment meant to lend him credence. Needless to say, he gradually found more and more ways to work his way into my silence. Now, he was a pretty meek, unattractive older man, so my mind played awful tricks on me, wondering if perhaps he was being facetious, and I should laugh with him at his expense. I alternately wondered how on earth how I was going to tell him he was freaking me out (or that I was freaked out in the more NVC way of stating his), or trying to remember how often I had been in a similar position, or wondering if this really was as wrong as it felt to my mood, my body, my sense of safety in the world. We live in a society where for me to be direct and state my disinterest directly would have caused a scene and would have become even more uncomfortable.
A woman asked me if I would like a table, and I chose the bar because I didn’t want to take up an entire table, and I wanted to watch the musicians.
I picked a chair, as I usually do, that had at least one empty chair to each side of me. I sat and looked around the place, passing over the head and face of the man to my left so that he would not think I was interested in engaging, because I wasn’t.
I was uncomfortable enough that I considered leaving, but I relaxed a bit when it seemed clear that the guy to my left was too into his computer to care, and the guy to my right did not make the expected approach or awkward comment.I also am jaded, because most of the men that have expressed interest in me while travelling were married.Everything was fine, and we chatted about random things while I chowed one of the most amazing winter vegetable plates ever, and he downed at least 3 whiskeys on the rocks. He looked bewildered and then gave me the extremely awkward up and down, and said he didn’t believe me. I said, “Thank you.” And then the cute younger guy showed up to suit’s right.I walked inside, and was washed over with the soothing music of a thin bearded man playing guitar and a woman playing what seemed like a bass cello (don’t judge me for not knowing what it was).I am no expert in music, but I do know it was sublime.