I need a prayer to get in her book and it looks rather dry
I guess a twinkle in her eye is just a twinkle in her eye
Although she’s crazy steppin, I’ll try to stop her stride
Cause I won’t have no more of this passin me by
— Slimkid3 of The Pharcyde from “Passin’ Me By”
Several years ago, me and my boys Ace and Hugh were walking down Canal street in New Orleans. We were there for the Essence Music Festival, Fourth of July Weekend. For those who have never been or read my previous posts about it, it’s essentially a weekend of nothing but great music, excellent cuisine, lots of liquor, and for a man, so much eye candy they’re bound to leave with optical diabetes.
Such a piece walked right past the three of us as we were discussing which direction we were going in. The girl was flanked by two others on her right and left side. They were all walking quickly, but Ace and Hugh and I noticed the woman in the middle. This was day two at the festival, a festival we had been to previous years, so by now we were well trained in the art of patience. We were no longer running after pretty face who walked by, and put a premium on good conversation with strangers instead of just aesthetics. But this girl in the middle couldn’t be ignored, at least not by me.
I stepped away from the group to catch up. Of course, I had no idea what to say to get her attention. She was wearing a floral dress, so thinking on my toes I started yelling “Hey, flower girl!” as I speed-walked towards her, hoping to get her to turn around before I had to pass her up, turn around, and get in her way. “Flower girl” wasn’t working, so I started yelling, “Beautiful, beautiful!”
Finally, she turned around, but only for a moment to see if I was talking to her. “Yes, you.” She turned back around and kept walking. “No, you, I’m talking to you!” There was a storefront with mirrors to our immediate left, as they were still walking, I improvised: “Look to your left, in the mirror, I’m talking to you. You!” She looked to her left. “There you go,” I said as she was slowing down, and finally stood at the corner, her girls putting some space between us and them. “Hi,” I said. “I’m sorry for yelling, I just had to stop you. My name is Jozen…”
What happened next isn’t relevant to today’s post, but since I know you all are nosy I will say this much: She ended up visiting me in New York City a few weeks later.
The reason I’m sharing this story is because I want to talk about street harassment. It is close to 90 degrees in New York City today, and the forecast says the weather will be hovering around that temperature for the next few days. That means Summer is here, and it also means women are going to hear the latest in cat call lexicon.