I was attacked by a homeless man yesterday. Although at times I may “ask for it” by loudly refusing to hand over my hard-earned money to some guy fit and able to take care of himself – this particular time I had done nothing. I was sitting on a park bench outside the Science World Skytrain Station – posting something on Instagram. A derelict approached me screaming obscenities, saying something like “don’t look at me that way” or something. I had not even noticed him before he began yelling. Then he spit at me. (it missed, he was fortunately a poor aim). But he was in for a surprise because I involuntarily raised my right leg and aimed for his groin. I missed but as I later laughingly said to others:
Me: He probably did not have any balls anyway.
But I was terrified and began screaming for help, there were several bystanders, all men I think. This was the horrible part – no one did anything. It was like Kitty Genovese – the woman killed in New York while her neighbors looked on in passivity. So the guy got away, no repercussions at all. In all fairness, eventually three men came to my rescue. One man tried to comfort me and said I should go and call the police. Another man heralded an officer for me but he was a transit authority guard and had no authority outside the station. The transit man was most helpful, speaking with me at length, calming me down. He said he would immediately call the police but I determined that would do no good whatsoever. The Vancouver Police Department would take hours to respond, it would wreck my well ordered plans for the day and there would be no way they would ever find the guy at that point in time. It would have been utterly useless. So I called Tracey, spotted her across the street and crossed at the traffic light. I was weeping again and said:
Me: I HATE this city, I absolutely HATE this city. It is lawless and corrupt and there is no relief for any wrongs heaped upon its citizens.
Tracey: Oh Alexis, what happened?? We cannot go to Yoga class you are too upset.
Me: I am! But I promise I will get over this in a few minutes. If I do not go on and do the things we planned, then it will only get worse and I will be a victim.
She: OK Alexis, but I don’t think you will be able to get over this, you are so upset.
Well, i did. We walked on, climbed on a bus, missed our stop and had to walk for blocks but eventually we got to the Yoga class. It was outdoors at Kits Beach on a grassy knoll. Tracey had brought a mat for me and laid it on the grass and I joined her – I was talking to a wonderful couple. When Tracey was changing I approached them asking about the cityscape. They helpfully pointed out Trump Tower, then I told them of my associations to that landmark. Needless to say they were fascinated. At one point the owner of the Tower emailed, tenderly pointing out which building was his and on another occasion when I heaped praise upon the building, said: “You inspire me to do more.” But the story did not have a happy ending, moreover I later learned he had nothing to do with the choice of the architect. I was naive.
I joined the class but quickly observed that I was not capable of achieving many of the positions as it would strain and threaten those knees that have been painstakingly preserved and strengthened. But I laid back on the mat, looked at the sky, listened to the lap of the waves and felt a huge measure of relief. Later I observed the throng. It was interesting in that there were many men in the class which is unusual as men do not often go to Yoga. I laughingly said afterwards that this would be a good place to meet a guy, he would be more balanced and you could watch his moves. A much better place than a bar or on line. Hahahaha. Now to be completely honest, there was a fine specimen and we did chat afterwards. He was most graceful but said that he was new to the game. His secret of success was to watch others and mimic those who had command of their bodies.
Me: That is a brilliant Idea and one that would be natural to me. I shall follow your lead.
He: Thank you. It felt good to help you.
Me: I have a blog and I am famous. Do you want a blog card?
He: Yes, of course.
He did have some streaks of grey hair, he must be older than the twenty year old who proposed the day before (see prior blog). Tracey and I spoke at length to Bernadette the Yoga instructor. She is a great person, from the Philippines and an inspiration in so many ways. I will come back to the class, and slowly incorporate what I can and cannot do. She welcomed my return.
I then went to the Boathouse and had a marvelous brunch. The setting idyllic, the food delicious, the wine from New Zealand exquisite. The staff so helpful, efficient and attractive. Well, except for one. A manager by the name of Theresa was absolutely rude to me. If I have a spare moment I will send a notice to the general manager and complain about her but I hate to be consumed in negativity. It was clear she was not well liked by the rest of the staff. The wonderful staff called a cab for me – not once but twice and it was my very favorite cab: Yellow Cab. I guess one can protect themselves from harm – take cabs, not the Skytrain, avoid public parks, walk quickly, avoid eye contact and just ignore beggars.
But to finish with a happy and an unhappy ending.
Me: Where were the men in my life when I was attacked? None around and none responded.
Alter Ego: But others were there for you.
Me: You are so right and thank you. At the end of the day Tracey gave me hugs and told of her amazement at my resilience.
Alter Ego: Yes! And do not forget Wonder Alice!
Me: Yes, I Instagrammed her and she sent me her love. I wrote her an email that told her that I did feel it, that she was with me even though she is in Australia.
Alter Ego: Good girl!
Me: Thanks. The word for today will be resilience. “In ecology, resilience is the capacity of an ecosystem to respond to a perturbation or disturbance by resisting damage and recovering quickly. Such perturbations and disturbances can include stochastic events such as fires, flooding, windstorms, insect population explosions, and human activities such as deforestation, fracking of the ground for oil extraction, pesticide sprayed in soil, and the introduction of exotic plant or animal species.”
So there! So there! So there! The photo was taken at the Yoga class – that is a totem pole.