I am not scared by men yelling things out the windows of their cars at me while I am walking my dog. I am not scared by men slowing down to yell things out the windows of their cars at me while I am out walking my dog. Disgusted is not the same thing as scared, so I'm not scared when they do it with three little girls, approximate ages 4, 6, and 8, in the back seat. I'm not scared when they slow down and don't yell, just make it obvious that they're looking.
But when three cars full of men in their 20s and 30s pull over to watch me walking my dog, then drive around the block an improbable twice to do it twice more? Then I am scared.
I make eye contact, and I do not smile, and I lift my chin at them in that way that says, "What the hell are you looking at? Piss off." And I look back up the hill to the park to make sure that the nice old gent and his little granddaughter, the ones I talked to, the ones who petted Ista, are watching me. They are. I wave to them again, and the old man waves a great big theatrical wave, and I don't look at the men in the cars again, and they drive off.
It is the middle of the afternoon in my own damn neighborhood. Before they started pausing across the street, I was thinking about how the green of August things after rain is different from the green of May things, and how good the tomatoes will taste for dinner, and the Veronica Mars DVDs that finally came, and bits of my book that make happy clicking places in my head, and maybe bits of the next book, too. I was thinking of the wedding of my best friend from kindergarten, and of how I walked that very same path yesterday with greykev, and of the water lilies blooming again on the pond. And yes, I was thinking of which yards have large dogs friendly to me and unfriendly to strangers, which houses contain neighbors who know me, which cars would be likely to stop if I needed help, how fast and how far I could run with the dog if we had to. But it wasn't the only thing I was thinking of, until they were leaning out their windows in silence, watching me, just watching.
I am angry.