Museum of Modern Stalk

yesterday i left for the MoMA in the early afternoon, excited to finally be spending a lazy saturday wandering about looking at art all alone.

[weird shred of foresight: as i walked from the subway stop to the museum, i thought, "hmm, just in case anything holla back worthy happens, i have my camera with me."]

a tall, well-dressed, probably thirty-something man, however, apparently had different ideas for me.

seconds after i got through the line where my card was scanned, he appeared at my side.

“excuse me, hello, i saw you in de lobby and i was very curious. i just wanted to introduce myself. so, where are you from?”

[tell me it isn't weird to say you want to introduce yourself and subsequently NOT introduce yourself in favor of asking a somewhat off question]

at this point i’m walking, not quite knowing what to say to get him to bug off, and he’s staying glued to my side. the whole time i was thinking, TAKE A PICTURE TAKE A PICTURE TAKE A PICTURE.

“ummmm…” i began, and made a break for the escalator.

“i was very interested, i just wanted to introduce myself,” he repeated.

“that’s okay,” i muttered, and maneuvered my way around the mob in front of me. at this point, my heart began to race. i knew he was following me. no sooner did i make it to the top of the escalator than he was right behind me again.

“you don’t have to be so rude,” he said, obviously frustrated. “i just wanted to ask you some things.”

[thought: i'm rude, yet you're chasing me through the f*cking museum and still trying desperately to talk to me]

“i don’t want to answer anything!!” i announced, and, without knowing where i was going, just hightailed it away from this freak as quickly as i could. i arrived at the line into the café, thinking, “shyt shyt i’m cornered he’s going to follow me.”

from behind me i heard him yell something about how i was “SO STUPID!!!!”

[i'm stupid, yet he needed me to spell out that i wanted nothing to do with him...after making a clear attempt to escape]

i was shaking. i wanted to cry. i stood at the window that overlooked the sculpture garden and considered calling someone to come join me, just in case i should run into him again. i was terrified that he would be waiting back near the escalators when i decided to leave the café area.

fortunately, i didn’t see him again. i’ve never been truly afraid of a harasser before. thinking about this makes me angry. of all the places this can happen in the city, you’d think it’d be just slightly less likely in an art museum.

maybe next time i’ll have the guts to snap a photo.

-laura

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