About a year ago I was at the St. Charles library. I was there alone, enjoying the solitude of the young adult section and reading a new book I'd brought. A man came up the stairs and looked at me. He looked at me in that way that instinctively made me uncomfortable. I let it go. I was reading, not to be disturbed. He proceeded to spend far too much time looking at the books in the teen section.
A whisper: “Hi.”
I look up. He's peering at me from behind a book rack, trying to make me look at him, but acting as if it wasn't him at the same time. I let it go. I was in a public place, others were only 10 or so feet away.
It happened again. I ignored it completely and tried to make my nervous and disgusted glances inconsipicous. Eventually he left.
I wrote you an email about it that night. Not that you could have helped, you were hundreds of miles away. But instead of telling me you were sorry or asking me how it made me feel, you pretened like it was not a big deal. But it was a big deal. It was a big deal to me. You could not have done anything, but I just wanted you to protect me somehow, to be upset that someone would have violated your friend, to take control–to be a man, to tell me its ok.
Perhaps I expected to much, but you failed this time, and I have not forgotten.