Headphones in ears, giant fuckoff bag beside me, and a book open in my lap – all the telltale signs of leave me the hell alone. And yet, I could feel hipster fuckboy’s eyes on me for two stops before he crossed over to sit next to me. It should be noted that my entire end of this conversation was said almost completely deadpan.
“What are you reading?” He asked brightly.
I held up the book. It was Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s We Should All Be Feminists.
“Oh, so you’re a feminist?”
“Yeah, I wasn’t until last year. I thought they were just all feminazis who hated men, but then my ex got me on it. I know it’s about equality now.” His smile still in place, nodding at his own innate genius for figuring out that 2 + 2 = 4.
“Good for you.”
“Yeah, like, we’re all equal right? Just makes sense.”
I nod, and turn back to the book.
Yes, well done for understanding that women are, indeed, equal to you, and those fighting for said equality are not the same as actual Nazis. Excuse me while I swoon over your unwashed beard and immediately drop my pants here on the train. Who said a little vibration ever hurt anyone?
“I didn’t think I should come over here, but, there was just, something about you.”
I raised my eyebrows.
“Something about me?”
“Yeah, you just have that vibe about you.”
“I don’t know, but that vibe.”
I know what he’s talking about. It’s the ‘you’re different from the others’, vibe. The, ‘you’re not like other girls’, vibe. The, ‘you’re a challenge and therefore I must prove my manhood and make you want me’, vibe.
It’s the vibe that says I’m calling you on your bullshit and you don’t want me to, you’re not used to it, or you want to convince me to stop, that you’re different, you’re different than the other fuckboys.
“Maybe you’re a party girl?”
He takes stock of the eyebrows creeping up into my hairline and tries again.
“So, you’re a student?”
“Can you help me?”
He doesn’t know what stop he needs to get out at. It’s with a sinking feeling in my gut I realise we’re getting out at the same station.
“So you’re like, far out of town?”
“Why do you say that?”
“All the students have to live far away to afford to live here, so you’re far away?”
Yes I will definitely tell you where exactly to bury the body.
“What are you studying?”
“I’m just visiting here for a couple days.”
“Can you guess my country?”
“Oh, come on. It’s shaped like Africa!”
“It’s in Europe and shaped like Africa!”
“I have no idea what you’re talking about.”
“You study politics and you can’t guess that country?”
I don’t remember the country, but it sure as fuck is not shaped like an entire continent. Side note, you reckon that was a good imperialist sentiment? Sure, we can take it over. Our country is a mini version of it. We’re *supposed* to expand there, just like God intended….
“So what are you doing now?”
“We should hang out.”
“What are you doing tomorrow?”
“I have a date.”
“Can I come?”
“You want to come to come along with me to my date?”
“Just tell him I’m gay.”
Can we take another moment to consider just how many groups of people he’s insulted at this point?
“It would be so fun.”
We’re approaching the stop. I grab my bag and sprint out the door. He’s left with a bemused expression on his face, twirling in a circle trying to find the right exit.
I left him to his confusion. For all I know, he’s still wandering around down there.