Cab Ride, Saturday Night

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.

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6 thoughts on “Cab Ride, Saturday Night

  1. Ugh. That sounds horrible. I would have been terrified. You did the right thing by calling to report him. The only idea I would have in that situation is to call someone so you can have a phone conversation instead of one with him or text everyone you could to let them know where you were or seek advice/help. You are far braver than I!

    • I really wish I had thought to text a friend to tell her what was up and ask her to call me. That would have been so much better. I am just glad I didn’t panic and make it clear I’d report him if he let me have the chance.

      • Would you like to be date “buddies”? For example- I try to find someone to touch base with when I’m out and about on my own. Text me ANYTIME. 🙂

  2. I stop by and read your articles from time to time when I have a spare moment away from my baby. It’s weird cause I can actually hear your voice saying these things when I read them. Which is nice it reminds me of school. =) Chicago sorta sounds bad when it comes to sexual harassment. I don’t think I would like it. I lived in Warwick Rhode Island for over a year. It’s a fairly large city and I also spend a lot of time in Providence. I have never had any these issues. I guess maybe it is because my Fiance is nearly always with me. Be safe and is Chicago really this bad when it comes to sexual harassment?

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