The Serial Spitter Strikes

18 Jan

On a warm Sunday morning in September of 2010, I was at the tail end of a long run with my friend Monica when I noticed a man approaching us — tall, thin, mid-to-late 50’s, grey hair.  We were on 4th Avenue between 7th and 8th Streets when he got close, turned his head in my direction, and spit all over my face.  It wasn’t just a gentle dusting, we are talking some serious spit action.  I was, understandably, livid.  But for once logical Rebekah trumped angry Rebekah and I thought to myself “this guy is completely unstable if he is walking down the street and sees two women running and chatting and feels the need to expel saliva all over one of their unsuspecting faces.”  Also, he obviously hated women.  (In the interest of full disclosure, I am fairly certain I turned around and screamed “what the fuck is your damage?!” to his slowly retreating back).  Monica and I finished the rest of our run, with me ranting continuously about the rampant disrespect in this city, and I carried on with my life, barely giving The Spitter another moment of my time.

Fast forward to the following May.  It was a gorgeous day and I had met my friend Paul for a run around Prospect Park in the early afternoon.  As usual, he kicked my ass and decided to keep running and I was left gasping for breath, making some excuse about how I had a class or needed to wash my hair or was expecting a super important phone call.  (In the interest of full disclosure once again, I pretty much never receive super important phone calls.)  I exited the park at 15th Street, feeling as though I had accomplished something by merely surviving.  Then, from around the corner I saw a man approaching me.  He looked somewhat familiar – tall, thin, mid-to-late 50’s, grey hair — but when I realized who he was it was too late.  Once again I was covered in a thin layer of saliva.  This time, ignoring logical Rebekah, I turned around and screamed “what?  You’re too much of a pansy to stay and face it?  Afraid a little girl might kick your ass??” (In real life, and not angry life, I consider myself medium-sized, not little, but it felt like the most reasonable line of attack so I suspended my pride for just that moment.)  All this got me was a simple shrug of the shoulders as the man continued on his merry, misogynist way.  I started in the direction of home, contemplating why I hadn’t just shoved him, and had to stop about 2 blocks away because I was filled with such rage and disgust that my legs wouldn’t carry me.  I ran home, looked for the address of my local precinct online, ran over there and made a police report.  The officer I spoke with was befuddled and disgusted but said there was little he could do with merely a description.  I filled out a report and went home.  I then spent the rest of the afternoon trolling websites, looking for other complaints about the actions of The Spitter.  There was a smattering here and there, but nothing all the substantial.  I let it rest.

The reason I bring up this rather outdated story is that I spent the past weekend in San Francisco.  One morning, my boyfriend Pete and I left the house of the friends we were staying with for a little jaunt around the Pan Handle.  Much like my experience with Paul, after one loop around Pete excused himself and sat on a bench while I continued my run.  On the final stretch, I saw this girl approaching me — about 5 feet tall, with short light brown hair.  She raised her hand in the air as she got close to me and we exchanged a jovial, and to me confusing, high five.  It was then that I realized that either San Fransisco is too soft for me or I am living in the wrong city.

8 Responses to “The Serial Spitter Strikes”

  1. Mindy January 18, 2012 at 4:44 pm #

    It has come to my attention, at this delicate juncture, that you have lived TOO long in New York City. I say this in reply to your recent run-in/replay with ‘The Spitter’ who I rather enjoy calling…The Spitter Man (sort of said with the tune of The Pusher Man, if you know that song). Either way, it’s time for you to come to the country for a while and decompress. Me thinks the niece does protest too much…as spit in your face should be considered much kinder than anything that COULD HAVE or MAY HAVE happened!

    We love you and we miss you so very much. Did you wash your face yet? Certainly, that may be a waste of precious Rebekah time, if The Spitter Man should return for any future accomplishments…..

    • creatingcarrie January 20, 2012 at 1:21 pm #

      i hear “Oh Spitter Man, Where you gonna run to? Oh spitter man, where you gonna run to? All along dem day” 🙂


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