This morning Noodles and I were walking down the street, minding our own business, chatting away. Then some bruiser sitting on a motorcycle outside a shop said loudly as we passed him, 'Why don't you get a cowbell to go with that stupid ring in your nose, you stupid bitch.' Noodles has a septum piercing.
Now, at first I didn't realise he was speaking to us and I didn't notice Noodles suddenly go quiet and her head drop. Then when I started to parse what he had said I remembered the word 'cow' and assumed he had been talking to me, for I am somewhat the chunker. So as I started to get pissed off about that, I finally made the connection and realised he had been speaking to Noodles. However, even though mere seconds had gone by, we were well past him by the time it finally clicked in my head what had happened. I said, 'Was that directed at you?' and she said 'Yes', quietly. I wanted to go back and give him an earful, but she wouldn't let me. So we kept walking. And she was crushed. Her previously good mood was gone, her face was sullen, and she looked like she was making a concerted effort to not cry. Pleasant walk over. A lovely kind girl who would never dream of deliberately hurting someone else's feelings made to feel like a piece of shit because of a perfectly harmless fashion choice.
I felt - and still do feel hours later - sad and furious. What kind of fucking arsehole yells abuse at a teenage girl walking past just minding her own business? What kind of grown man gets some sort of entertainment out of making a young woman feel small and ruining her day? It's bad enough when grown women can't walk the street without getting yelled at by random strangers, but who is so much of a fucking prick that picking on a teenage girl seems like a good idea?
She seems okay now, but I know she's still thinking about it. And for that I hope that fucker falls off his bike and breaks both legs.