Don’t Touch Me

Published: Oct 14, 2017

So, this happened the other day while I was waiting for the bus. I wave down the bus to make sure the driver sees me and, as the ramp is being lowered down to street level I feel the hands of a complete fucking stranger rest on my shoulders.

“I’m fine, thanks” I say to the person now violating my personal space while resisting the urge to add: “Get your filthy, fucking hands off of me before I break them.”

As the ramp hits the sidewalk, he leans over and says “I was in a wheelchair for ten months, so I know what it’s like”.

I could not board that bus fast enough.

I do not have the words to describe just how fucking furious this kind of violation makes me. Like, make‐a‐scene angry; have‐the‐cops‐show‐up angry; lawyers‐and‐paperwork angry.

Dear able‐bodied people: Don’t fucking touch me!

My personal space, my body not a means for you to accomplish a good deed. I am not a prop for your conscience. I am not a feather to be plucked and put in your karmic cap.

Why the fuck would anyone think this is remotely okay? I’m pretty sure this guy wouldn’t do this to any able‐bodied stranger he encounters.

I’m pretty sure he’s aware of just how egregious his actions would have been if applied to an able-bodied person.

Why the fuck am I any different?

Why the fuck is my personal space and bodily autonomy more flexible?

Why the fuck did he think it’s okay to touch me?