interactions with strangers

I am aware of someone moving closer to me on a busy street in central London. They go past
the social closeness bubble which I’m comfortable with. They move their hands toward me.
Their hands are facing up, in them are two packs of cards. I say no thank you and move away.

I’m walking home from the station, down some dark quiet residential streets. A car pulls over
next to me. I walk on. It slowly follows, matching my pace. The driver calls out of the open
window, asking if I am single. I mumble a reply and look down, walking the last few steps to my

Someone pushing a pram and holding a baby stops in front of me on the high street. They ask
me for food to feed their family. I say I don’t have any cash on me. They repeat that they would
like food to feed their family. I say sorry and walk away.

I’m walking through New York, it’s a sunny bright day. I’m holding hands with my partner. As I
pass someone, they slap my bum, hard. I turn around and they are walking and also looking
back, grinning at me. My partner hasn’t noticed anything.

I’m running in the park. Someone stops me and asks if I’d be willing to have a conversation with
them as they would like to practice talking. I say I want to finish my run. I go
back to them a few minutes later and said I would be up for talking now. They say it’s ok and
walk away.

I want to welcome people in and be open to connection. I want to see people’s humanity rather
than threats. I want to see possibilities of connection rather than defend against uncertainty.

How can I do this and stay safe? I can’t. Being a human is inherently unsafe.

The mouse and the fox come out for their performance by jdwoof