This morning I was running late (yes, as usual) and was a bit distracted by allergy-head fog when I got to my bus stop. There was a gentleman already sitting at the stop, drinking a soda.

The unspoken etiquette at my neighborhood bus stop is to always greet people with a smile and a “good morning” when you join them in the mutual hell of waiting for the bus. So I did just that, even though he had a look about him that was not quite friendly.

He glared at me, very deliberately turned his back and loudly spat.

Nice. This is an attitude not unknown to me – it usually happens when I walk past the little convenience store on 11th just before U. There’s always a bunch of guys loitering there who love to show their disdain by spitting loudly as you pass by, sometimes with commentary about neighborhood intruders.

As I was tired and groggy my street sense was off, so my reaction to his hostile spitting was unfortunately to giggle. At this he stood up slowly, crumpled his soda can, and tossed it to the ground in front of me, with a backward “what are you going to do about it, bitch?” glance as he sauntered away.

I picked up the can and threw it away with a sigh.

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