Saturday, June 16

Staring Right Back

Have you ever felt like someone was watching you and then you turned around to see who it was just to find … [dramatic pause] there was no one there. Scary isn’t it? Sends a chill down the back of your neck and makes the hair on your arms stand on end.

imagine that you moved out of this persons line of sight only to notice that same feeling of being watched again, and noticing another pair of eyes fixed on you


Well imagine feeling like someone was watching you and turning to find that someone was actually watching you, unblinking, unflustered by your eyes meeting theirs and unrelenting in their inspection of you. Now imagine that you moved out of this persons line of sight only to notice that same feeling of being watched again, and noticing another pair of eyes fixed on you set in an unsmiling face on top of a neck that pivots with your every move.

Well the latter scenario is my life. I feel like the uninitiated stranger who’s walked into the village of a horror movie, everything seems fine on the surface but those eyes constantly watching, they suggest that nothing is right beneath it.

Maybe I’m just paranoid, ‘wierded’ out by a behaviour that seems so foreign to me. Perhaps I should, after 10 months, accept that I look curious to them, and that’s why they stare, woman, man and child.

I once voiced my concerns to someone, and was consequently likened to an alien.

“What if you saw a Martian on the street, wouldn’t that freak you out a bit.”

What freaked me out was being likened to something that didn’t exist, and to something that in popular culture is to be feared and not trusted. Those points aside, I’m nothing like an alien, I’m a lot like any other black person, a race of people who some believe predate Caucasians, a race of people who have been part of British society predating the abolition of slavery. Seeing a black person is like seeing a tree in the fact that no one can deny they exist and where we may all be different tree’s, I’m distinctly not alien.

I would pretend that their fixed unsmiling gaze was a look of awestruck wonderment. However ...


In fact scratch that because seeing a black person is like seeing a person in the fact that no one can deny they exist and where we all may be different people, I’m distinctly not alien.

So in my head for a while I would liken the staring to a person seeing a rare car, a Ferrari or a McClaren, and I would pretend that their fixed unsmiling gaze was a look of awestruck wonderment. However the other day I saw the same unfriendly stare, the same investigative and unblinking eyes in another face.

“disrespected, unwelcome, threatening”.


As I was walking to school I had passed too close to someone else’s territory and the staring started. Curious, alert and slightly afraid, he looked right at me fixing my gaze with a stare, unsmiling, unfriendly, not shocked, I wasn’t alien to him. And as I passed him his head turned slowly to keep me in sight, and then he done something that frightened me, he got up on all fours, pulled at his leash and barked!

A dogs eyes will never hide what they’re saying, “unwelcome, unwanted”, similarly the eyes I feel on me and then catch sight of are equally honest, “disrespected, unwelcome, threatening”.
I could go on, but I feel the side of me that has been trained to be politically correct pulling me inline. I wouldn’t want to point out any one peoples social inadequacies because that is racist, better instead to accept it, leave it unchallenged and barking loudly, whilst tethered to a place in social evolution most have long since left.

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