Treated Like a Piece of Meat
Last week, I was walking with a group of friends around 11pm when a man tried to get my attention by grabbing my shoulder and softly saying “hey.” I recognized him from a butcher shop that I shop at every few weeks. Although I was thrown off guard by how he approached me, I initially thought he had just recognized me and was introducing himself. He asked if I shopped at the butcher shop. I responded that I did. He seemed anxious/nervous, so I tried to alleviate that by putting on a smile. He immediately responded, “Do you have a staring problem?” I replied that no, I do not have a staring problem. He kept repeating himself, in a more and more agitated way, until I threw up my hands and said, “Look, I have no idea what you’re talking about.” I was confused and a little scared. As I was walking away he said, “Go fuck yourself” in an angry tone.
Yesterday, I went back to the butcher shop, giving the guy the benefit of the doubt. Maybe he was out of it, I thought, and I hoped he either a) wasn’t working or b) had forgotten about it already. I was wrong. Another employee helped me with my purchase, but while my chicken was being wrapped, out of my corner of my eye I saw the man standing across the counter from me, arms at his sides, just looking at me. I didn’t want to make any eye contact, so I just kept looking at my phone until the other employee rang me up. As soon as I had checked out at the shop, the man was waiting for me outside the door. I saw him standing there as I was putting my things in my bag and immediately started to worry. Before I walked out of the shop, I put my headphones in to preempt any attempt to talk to me. I turned and tried walking away as quickly as possible but he grabbed me by the shoulder, hard enough to spin me around this time, and told me to “Go fuck yourself! You can go straight to hell!” His boss watched the entire thing unfold. The fact that he was willing to harass me in front of his boss, while at work suggests to me that he is mentally unstable. I filed a police report but am worried I may run into him around my neighborhood.