Imagined dialogue with the bicycle groper (UPDATE)
(Note: Expect four posts today. Also, tell your friends maybe?)
Marciano: Dude, what the fuck?
BG: What? What are you talking about?
M: I saw you touch that woman’s ass.
BG: You’re going to have to be more specific.
M: On Friday, in the Mission. You were riding your bike southward, on the sidewalk. My friend and I wondered why you didn’t ride on the street like every other biker in the city. We called you a pussy. Then, as you passed a group of people, you slowed down, which is normal, I guess, because bicyclists don’t want to accidentally run into anybody, but it turns out you slowed down so that you could stick out your hand and pat a woman on the ass. Then you rode away.
BG: Ah, yes.
M: Yeah, that’s what I referred to when I said, “what the fuck?”
BG: Ah, so what?
M: Well, I mean, you really are a coward. You only did that because you could ride away without any repercussions. If you were on foot you would have had to deal with an indignant woman and her friends. Hell, maybe she knows Krav Maga and would have kicked your ass.
BG: By that token, the Mongols were cowards for shooting arrows at people from their horses.
M: What? No!
BG: Why not? They wouldn’t have done it without the horses, because then they’d just be some guys with arrows.
M: Yeah, but that was war. People shot back.
BG: They initiated all of their wars, attacking people that had never heard of them. They were never invaded, or on the defensive—only after hundreds of conquests did that happen.
M: Look, you’re not Genghis Khan; nothing good came out of touching that woman, like, say, cultural diffusion, to put it vaguely.
BG: I felt good. That’s what came out of it.
M: How? It was too brief to register sensually in your brain.
BG: It’s not based in sensory perception, per se. I got the same feeling, almost a high, when I stole candy from corner stores in middle school.
M: Getting away with the forbidden? But you don’t have murder or robbery in you, nor the ability to face that sort of jail time.
BG: Yeah, I guess.
M: So that’s why I saw you ride back up the street, northward, later on. Do you just go up and down doing that?
BG: Pretty much.
M: Well, I can’t think of anything else to say to you. Get caught. Bye.
The bicycle groper gropes on unimpeded. This is the first time I witnessed any sort of street harassment; it’s meant to be invisible to everyone except the harassed. After seeing it, I struggled to understand his motivation. Here I conceived of one, who knows if it’s accurate or valid.
UPDATE: I meant to attach the following song to this post because it deals with the dilemma of approaching a woman.