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Strange Proposition

You may not believe that this story is true, and believe me, if it hadn't happened to me, I would have some speck of skepticism as well. And yet, the fact that it happened at the bus stop only supports the truthfulness of this story.

I had just finished research for the day (thank God), and I stopped at the Coffman bus stop to go back to Pioneer. I know it's not a far walk, but I was lazy this morning and fate was not on my side. I was also wearing a dress (was that why it happened? I'm going to start wearing baggy clothes) and it was windy, so the bus sounded like a good idea at the time.

I missed the connector, as usual, so I stood next to the bus stop sign and waited for the next one to come. As I was standing there, a man in an orange parka, with a backpack and a scruffy look to him walked up to me. I thought he looked maybe about late 20's to early 30's, fairly normal, nothing to make him stand out. Until he opened his mouth.

Here is what he said, as exactly as I can remember it:

"Hi, I know I don't know you, but I just wanted to say something to you. You have an unparalleled beauty that needs to be noticed by the world. I would like to ask you a question. With your permission of course, I would like to get down on my knees right here and kiss your feet."

My reply: "Uh…I don't really feel comfortable with this."

I must stop here and just tell you what my feelings were at the point he asked to kiss my feet. When he first told me I was beautiful, I thought maybe he was just shy around women and was trying to use some oddly planned pick-up line. But when he got to the foot fetish thing, the only thing I could think was this is a joke. But he kept going. At which point I thought please tell me this is the psych department doing some weird research study. When he was done talking and I left, no one gave me any debriefing, so I am forced to conclude that this was not the case. The third thing I thought may be kind of mean or judgmental, but it's a two-part question: I thought at the time that he was either "mentally unstable" (my brain gave me this word, maybe from abnormal psychology classes) or that he just had a foot fetish and wanted to be normal about it. I felt bad. The apple of his cheek continuously twitched as he spoke and I found myself staring at it because I didn't know what to do.

I just want to tell you now that there is no end to this story and I cannot explain this man's words. So I will just note the rest of his speech.

"I know this might seem forward and this is an awkward question, but I would like to get to know you and maybe make my way up to that point. I realize that I might not be worthy of you, but I would like us to get to know each other. So, with your permission, would it be okay with you if we had a more formal introduction?"

My reply: "Uh…I don't really feel comfortable with this."

I had no idea what to say, what to do, what to think. It was surreal. I felt myself swaying on the spot with weirdness. The sun was too bright. All I could think was, where the fuck is the bus? To continue:

He said, "Well…there's no way to back away from this without being awkward, so…" He then stared at me. I said, "Well, thank you." He then backed away awkwardly, laughing that he didn't mean to be weird. He stood behind me for five solid minutes while I waited for the bus. It never came. Kamran called me and I immediately answered. He wanted to know if I could eat lunch with him at Coffman. I said "YES I'LL BE THERE IN A SECOND." I walked off to Coffman and didn't turn back.

When I told Kamran, he said, "Well he got his wish."

"What wish?"

"I've noticed your unparalleled beauty."

He thinks he's so funny. What a suck-up.

I called my mom and told her. After laughing at me for about thirty seconds, she said I should have told him that I was married and my husband wouldn't appreciate him kissing my feet. I had thought about saying I had a boyfriend, but for some reason, I didn't want to disappoint the guy or make him sad. My sister said it was hilarious.

I ended up walking home after eating with Kamran. I don't think I'll stand at the bus stop again for awhile.


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