What You Least Want to Hear From a Stranger at Key Food: “You Are So Beautiful”

by

01/02/2001

180 East 4th Street ny ny 10009

Neighborhood: East Village

It was just after 2 am on Tuesday, December 5, 2000 at Key Food on the corner of 4th and Avenue A in the East Village. I felt the sudden urge for some Kraft Macaroni & Cheese. After removing a box of Spirals from the top shelf, I proceeded to the check-out. There were a few neighborhood boys hanging around the only open register. They seemed to be friends of the late night clerk and hanging out to keep him company.

The clerk rang me up and bagged my purchase. As I waited for my receipt I saw a man approach out of the corner of my eye. I looked down at my hands to avoid him.

He said “You are so beautiful, if you don’t mind me saying…” and fingered my bag still on the counter.

I looked into his face. He had smooth skin, Indian features and a baby’s pudgy roundness. There was a black tie around his forehead. He was about 5’6″, dressed in a heavy padded cotton winter coat and weighed about three hundred pounds. He stood blocking the end of the register lane.

I replied flatly, “I do.”

“Why?”

“Because it’s none of your business,” I stated softly. He let go of my bag. I turned and headed for the exit. “You’re Fuckin’ ugly then! Fuck You! Fuck you! You are fuckin’ ugly then!” He was following me to the door.

I rushed down Avenue A towards 3rd street away from the noise.

“Fuckin’ ugly. Fine! Fuckin’ ugly!” he yelled out the automatic door.

There were people on the sidewalk across the street looking, watching.

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