I was on a bike. He was in his car, his window cracked.
“I love you,” he said flatly. Loud enough for me to hear, not loud enough for me to smash his side mirror with my U-Lock.
He wasn’t on the phone, he was speaking to me. This was a cat call. But it was the most casual cat call I’ve ever received.
His informal delivery caught me off guard. Normally leers are obvious or even cartoonish. Honks, over the top air-groping gesticulations, intrusive kissing sounds. Normal. Expected. MEN! RIGHT, LADIES?!
But the subdued proclamation of his love brought about a sense of intimacy. That was how you told someone you actually loved that you loved them. Mother, spouse, boyfriend you have haven’t broken up with yet…That was the automatic closure to the conversation right after, “Yes, I’ll pick up cat food at The Jewel.”
He did love me.