Step Back

Standard

I was in a suburb of a large metro area, at a gas station in the parking lot of a supermarket that is part of a big chain. I walked up the the booth to pay rather than run my debit card through the reader and risk identify theft or a drained bank account. One person was already standing at the window, waiting for the attendant to return.

The person was presenting a female gender identity. She was younger than I am, and dressed in tight clothes. She didn’t mind showing off her body.

I took my place in line behind the woman. I was standing the normal distance I would stand behind a person in a line in front of me. I don’t like people all up in my business, so I try to avoid  getting all up in the business of others. My desire for space means other people have space too. However, my definition of enough space was different from this woman’s.

She turned around, quickly looked me up and down and said, Could you take a step back? I don’t like people too close to me.

What could I do? I took a step back.

I didn’t feel like I was excessively close, but she used her words (if not quite politely, not exactly rudely either) and made a not unreasonable request. It was a strange request, maybe, but not an ureasonable one.

I did wonder if my underarms were particularly smelly that day or my clothes particularly dirty. (I usually dress decently and deodorize my underarms before I go to the big city, I swear.) Maybe the woman likes space in any situation, but I did worry that somehow I specifically was offensive to her.

She seemed satisfied with my one step back and went about her business with nothing more to say to me.

 

About Blaize Sun

I live in my van, which makes me a rubber tramp. I like to see places I've never seen before, and I like to visit the places I love again and again. I like to play with color. I make collages and hemp jewelry and cheerful winter hats. I take photographs and (sometimes, not in a long time) write poetry. All of those things make me an artist. Although I like to spread joy and to make people laugh, my wit can be sharp. I try to stay positives in all situations, to find the goodness in all people. But I often feel compelled to point out bullshit when I smell it. I like to have fun, to dance, to eat yummy food, to sit by a fire and share stories. I want to know what people hold dear and important, not just make surface small talk. This blog is a way for me to share stories. This blog is made up of my stories, rants, and observations, as well as my photographs.

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