The Men In America

The Men In America

I was in the train returning from a very successful meeting in California. I hadn’t had sex, kissed a guy or even wanked in months since I came to America, not because I couldn’t get to any of those things, but because I’d rather put my energies into and concentrate on what I’m here to do, rather than go on dates where, for the first thirty minutes, I’d probably spend discussing why my accent is different and why I chose to leave Wakanda to relocate to the United States.

So, while in this train, I noticed a man sitting a few meters away from me on the opposite side, and boy, was he hot! Additionally, what made him all the more appealing was how he was tending to a little girl he had in a baby carriage. He was doting on her, cooing to her and checking to make sure she was sleeping peacefully. It was such an adorable sight. And I found myself staring and dreaming about one day having such a man for a partner – a man who would love our kids, dote on them and still look hot while doing it.

As I stared, the man looked up and our eyes met. Suddenly feeling like I’d just been caught doing something wrong, I looked away. After a brief moment, I ventured another look at him, and was slightly startled to see him still looking at me. I looked away again; I wasn’t here to become a part of a staring contest.

However, every quick moment I glanced at him, it was to find him focused on me. And he had ramped up the situation. He was not simply staring at me; he was now licking his lips, touching his face, and centred a half-lidded, come-hither look on me. Seeing this, I momentarily froze and sat there, staring back at him, not sure how I should react to this. Within me, my pulse had picked up a faster beat and I was panicking, as I remembered my Nigeria encounters and the dangers associated with meeting strangers as a gay man in Nigeria. What was this man playing at? I was terrified. I didn’t trust this brazen show of seduction. I was going breathless with anxiety, and began even considering changing seats so I wouldn’t have to face the man.

But the situation was just about to get dialed up.

The train pulled up in a station, and there was a mild traffic of passengers getting off and others getting in. That was when this man rose from his seat, and pulling his baby girl’s carriage after him, approached me. My heart began beating even faster as I warily watched him approach.

When he got in front of me, he stopped, leaned forward a bit and hissed at me, “Bro, you messed up! You’re a fool! You faggot! You wanna get this dick, you ain’t never gonna have it!”

He just went on and on, spitting his venom at me, all traces of his earlier seduction gone to be replaced by a really vicious man. I tamped down on the terror I was feeling and acted like I wasn’t the one he was talking to, instead focusing on my phone, tapping away on my keypad and wishing the ground would open and swallow one of us. He kept assaulting me verbally. And I sat there, trembling with some shame. Outwardly though, I kept it cool. And my seeming unruffled attitude must have incensed him, because he began to get louder and more creative with the slurs.

I chanced a swift look around me, trying to assess the mood of the other people in the train. No one was paying the drama much attention. Everyone was minding their business like it was a very regular occurrence for men to approach other men in trains and cuss them out in a homophobic assault. This was brand new to me. Imagine being called a “homo” in a Nigerian commercial transport space. Imagine you are prim and properly dressed, with your legs crossed, and your aggressor has a child and is speaking the language of the crowd. I was expecting an evil stare, a hissing encouragement of my aggressor’s verbal assault, maybe one or two people to join him to rough me up. But these people were not here for this drama. Everyone was focused on their devices and newspapers and minding their business.

And then I realized it was up to me to handle this nuisance. First of all, I was not in Nigeria. So I had no crowd action to fear. Yes, I’d been lowkey admiring this guy, earlier hoping that somehow we’d drop at the same stop and get talking. But I wasn’t going to let him keep disrespecting me like this. After all, nothing happened. I hadn’t hit on him. I’d simply been looking at him, and last I checked, it wasn’t a crime to stare.

So I uncrossed my legs and stood up to face him. And in a calm but steely voice, I said to him, “Hey dude, shut up!” He did. But I wasn’t finished. “Yes, I have heard you. But it’s time for you to shut up. You have shown me and the entire good people in this train how small your brains are and how little you are. We get it. You’re a small-minded person. It’s time for you to shut it and hopefully not infect your baby girl with your stupidity.”

I paused a beat and stared him down. He clearly hadn’t expected my aggression, and wilted before me, lowering his head and looking away.

In a quiet voice, I said to him, “It’s sad really. I wish you didn’t do this and embarrass yourself like this.”

And then, I sat down, crossed my legs again and returned to my phone.

He stayed silent and remained standing.

On second thoughts, I uncrossed my legs and readjusted my body to a posture of self defense, should he develop any ideas.

But he didn’t get physical with me. He just stood there, occasionally looking at me, and then just as the train pulled up at a station, he mumbled “I’m sorry”, and then made his way to the exit.

Written by Simba

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  1. Francis
    April 03, 07:40 Reply

    No where safe like that sha. Na wa. SMH

    • Mandy
      April 03, 08:11 Reply

      At least in the US, Simba didn’t have to deal with a homophobic crowd who are provoked simply because one idiot started running his mouth.

      • Francis
        April 03, 11:10 Reply

        ? ?. True though it depends on which side of the US and what time of the day this kain crap went down

  2. Michael
    April 03, 16:42 Reply

    I’m loving this new upgrade. Well done PP.

  3. Delle
    April 04, 08:00 Reply

    Oh wow! Scary. That’s why I’ll never be caught staring at a Ryan Reynolds, no matter how favorable the situation is.

    By the way, that guy is gay abeg. You’d think the IH illness didn’t cross African’s shores. Sigh.

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