Privacy elusive when voyeurs are afoot

Certain aspects of American culture baffle me, and I’m afraid they always will. Take, for example, the fascination men have for the female anatomy — a desire so strong they easily discard all dignity for a glimpse of flesh.
Case in point: I left the bar on a balmy Saturday night last week and headed to my car, which was parked a few blocks away. The bartenders at the establishment had been so insistent on clearing everybody out — “Come on people, let’s GO!” — that I didn’t get a chance to use the bathroom before hastily parting. Although I thought I could make it home, I soon discovered otherwise.
The neighborhood was quiet and dark, and the hour was late. I didn’t expect any problems. Nestling myself between the local foliage, I looked around before dropping my pants. For the record, I know it’s illegal to pee outside. But if we can’t use nature’s restroom when we really need to, I ask you, what is freedom for?
Well, only a few splashes had fertilized the grass when I noticed a bicyclist approaching from a block away. Thinking he probably didn’t see me, but not wanting him to get a chance, I whipped up my pants and scurried behind a red brick building. My thoughts of the bicyclist faded as my sense of semi-embarrassment kicked in, proving my conscience was functioning properly.
After a minute or so, I decided the coast was clear. This time I chose two well-placed vehicles in the building’s parking lot and wedged myself between them. Down came the pantaloons, and I soon found relief.
Just as the last drops were meeting the ground, a motion registered in the corner of my vision. I quickly stood, bringing my pants up with me, and saw the bicyclist staring at me from the other side of the car.
I shivered with the creeps, and rummaged through my purse searching for my keys, under the pretense that I owned one of the very cars separating us. As I fumbled, he looked on.
My nervousness mounted, and I wondered why he kept staring. Since neither car really was mine, I briskly turned and walked toward where I parked. He pedaled after me. I sprinted, he accelerated. I ran, he kept up. I finally reached my car and got in.
As I did, he slowed down and mumbled something at me with a disgusting leer on his ugly mug — a nauseating expression that haunted me. The entire scene replayed in my mind while I drove home, causing me to lose my way on the most familiar of routes.
I’ve since recovered, allowing me to wonder why people do these sorts of things. The incident left an unnerving residue of disgust and creepiness. I wonder if this pedaling pervert understands that his juvenile fancies unraveled me for the entire evening. Perhaps that knowledge makes the act even more delightfully titillating to his sexually perverse segment of society.
“Do you like to see women pee, you sick bastard? Does that turn you on?” I imagine myself saying this to him with more confidence than I had exhibited that evening. My mind then constructs an image of him drooling and giggling on the sidewalk in response to my queries, my anger only exciting him more as he regresses to his true age.
This five-minute event is permanently stored in the part of my mind which also houses memories of the guy who sneered, “nice tits,” while passing me on the street; the old man who meowed at me; the hot-springs masturbator; the occasional unprovoked ass-grabbers; and all the honking, gawking, sneering, jeering, shouting perverts on the road.
As a woman in my French class so accurately put it, these wackos entwine unsuspecting women in their perverse games, leaving their victims feeling violated and scarred, the unsettling image forever imprinted on their psyche.
These experiences — so disturbing as to make deep impressions on my soul — will probably never really leave. They will always serve as a reminder of the sick people who populate the earth in search of their next victim. Yuck, yuck, yuck!
Emily Dalnodar is a Daily guest columnist. She welcomes comments to [email protected]