Sunday, July 12, 2009

Cigarettes (or probably me) will kill you

Don’t you hate it when you’re walking home with a couple, and that couple have just had a fight, and so you’re walking home smack in the middle of huffy awkward silence?

Well that’s what I was trying to avoid Saturday night with Kuya and Charm. After karaoke I ran ahead on Swanston Street trying to dodge them, but Kuya made Charm run to catch up with me so I wouldn’t be walking alone. Which in retrospect was probably a good thing.

So us gals were both steaming along, angry-drunk, her pissed off with Kuya and me pissed off in general, and this group of five or six guys walk past. One stops to remark, “You ladies both look beautiful tonight! Especially the one in the pink!”

Charm and I exchanged glances. Both of us were wearing black.

Shrugging, we continued walking, trying to quickly overtake the stumbling group, but alas the clicking of our heels gave away our gendered presence. One turned around, waving an unlit cigarette and slurring, “Hey, you girls have a light?”

Charm, who was actually taking a drag from her own cigarette, glanced at him with a straight face and goes, “… No.”

I would have laughed if I wasn’t already boiling with alcohol-induced rage, and we both quickened our pace. Skirting over Lt. Lonsdale Street, the same guy takes pursuit, and starts hollering.

“Oh, c’mon… do you have a light? Give us a light, c’mon…. hey, hey, can you tell me a secret?”

We waked faster, trying to lose him with the old ‘pretend you can’t hear them’ routine but he would not let up. At this stage I’d started muttering to myself, so Charm chose to engage with our pursuer.

“No, I don’t have a lighter, there’s a 7-eleven nearby, try there.”

“But um… I don’t have any money.”

“I don’t have any money either.”

“Oh… C’mon…”

We walked faster. He followed.

“Can I just light my cigarette off yours?”

Finally Charm grudgingly obliged, slowing down to hand him her cigarette, and Kuya – who had hitherto been following us a hundred metres back ‘cos he was still shitty with Charm – chose that moment to play Protective Boyfriend.

He shouldered in between Random Guy and Charm, towering over him, and snatched her cigarette back. “You enjoying that?”

The guy took a moment to register confusion and possible hostility, when Charm explained, “This is my boyfriend.”

“Oh – sorry man!”

End of saga. As soon as the bulky presence of The Boyfriend appeared Random Guy magically didn’t want a lighter anymore, funny that. I stood with my eyes narrowed and arms folded, seething until Kuya gently guided me back across the road. “C’mon darl.”


I really wish I’d said to the guy, “We don’t have to give you shit, you weird obsessive freak. Get your own lighter and leave us alone.” Or maybe a more polite variant. No fuck it, why do I have to be polite, you’re fucking scaring me!

Fuck you, drunk guy. We were just trying to make our way home. We had both had it and were shitty as hell. We did not want to be harassed by you. We are not obliged to give you a cigarette lighter or in any way respond to a stranger’s demands attentively and politely at five am on the middle of Swanston Street. Think about how a group of young men would pose a threat to the two of us, especially since a member of said group had already expressed a sexual interest in both of us. I’m sure you didn’t mean real harm, that you were just a typical arrogant drunk guy, given the way you ran off with your tail between your legs at the sight of Charm's beefy BF. So have some fucking respect next time and take a hint when women want to be left the fuck alone.

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