A couple of weeks ago, I was waiting for a crosswalk in my neighborhood when a guy walked out of a nearby bodega and greeted me with, “Hello, gorgeous.”
I kind of shifted my weight and pretended not to hear him, hoping that was the end of his schtick, but a couple seconds later he kept going. “You got a man, gorgeous? Someone to appreciate all of that? Look at you—” and once he’d made it clear that this was an interaction he was hoping to sustain until I could cross the street, I cut him off.
"Stop it." Eye contact. Flat tone. Could’ve been a reply to, ‘Do you want the receipt?’
He blinked, taken aback, like I’d said, “Fuck you.”
"I’m just brightenin’ up your day, gorgeous."
"No, you’re not. You’re rude. This is rude."
We were down to just a left turn signal for the cars, so I knew my crosswalk was nigh. As my little white walk lights illuminated, I said over my shoulder, sing-songy like we were just leaving lunch together, “I’m your peer!”
Anyway, I bring all of this up because this morning I went to drop off laundry and he walked by. I didn’t recognize him, but he must’ve remembered my coat or something, because he said, “Hello, peer.”
I’ll take it.