So I am just going to keep writing accounts of my own experiences of cat calling, sexual harassment and intimidation, and verbal abuse. I have to get these stories outside of myself.
Last night I thought I was never going to make it home. I was worried I was being abducted by my cab driver, who started out my ride by asking me if I lived alone. That should have been my first red flag. A lot of times, young guys driving cabs ask if I have a boyfriend, and I don’t think anything of it. This was not that conversation. I told him I was single but doing really well with that because I feel like I’m a lot more productive when I’m not dating someone. He asked if I was interested in a “short-term relationship” and I said that wasn’t my thing. He did not accept this answer.
I’d change the subject and he would ask a couple benign questions, but always come back to asking me about something short-term. He tried to flatter me and said he was getting off his shift after taking me home. I would say no again and again, but he would demand to know why. He slowed down the car each time, waiting for me to respond. Dumbfounded, I repeated variations of my first response but he wouldn’t let it go. It was too late when I realized he’d gone much further west than I live and I panicked, my stomach absolutely sinking. In that moment I honestly believed he had no intention of letting me go. I had written his cab number in my phone about halfway through the ride when his questions started becoming invasive but I didn’t know what to do with it in that moment.
I pointed out we were further west than where I’d said. He stopped the car in the middle of the street and asked me where he was supposed to be going. I told him, and he got annoyed with me and said I’d told him the wrong street. He turned around, and I breathed a sigh of relief.
He did drop me off at the intersection I’d originally given, but tried with me one last time. He asked for my number or my Facebook, and I told him I wasn’t comfortable with that. He didn’t say anything, and I slammed the door shut. I walked south half a block, looking over my shoulder, and hid in an alley until I saw him go. I stayed there for a couple of minutes, worried he might loop around the block. He didn’t. I am so glad I gave the intersection I did, which is not my block, but the intersection of the two largest streets closest to me.
I reported him to 311, giving the cab number I’d written down and any details about him I could remember. He said he had only been a cab driver for two months. He’s lived in Chicago for two years. He was intimidating and verbally manipulative and he should not be a cab driver.