i’m actively unfriendly to strangers attempting to converse with me, especially in the morning (or afternoon or evening or night), especially while i’m sneaking coffee from the empty parlor at the inn thinking i was getting away with it, especially when the stranger doesn’t heed my obvious verbal and nonverbal unwillingness to engage. he walked into the room behind me and started asking personal questions about my writing. i kept my back turned to him, i gave brief and vague responses to his questions. he continued talking at me. he wanted to tell me he was a writer. he asked about my writing only because he wanted to tell me he was a writer. he wanted to tell me he wrote four books in 2009. he wanted to tell me that writing books was too easy for him and that he was now challenging himself with learning lesser known ancient languages, which meant that he wanted to tell me that he is smart, smarter than he thinks i am. he wanted to tell me he is a doctor (not indicating medical, dental, or phd), introducing himself as dr.pretentious. he wanted to advise me how to live my life and what to write next and what to do next. he tried to compliment me by guessing my age as 36. (hey white-haired old dude, you’re gonna have to fake guess my age lower than 36 to compliment me because i assume you guessed my age correctly and subtracted five years, which ain’t a compliment.) he asked for my email address. i was surprised and unprepared and focused on my coffee and wanting to end the interaction as quickly as possible and didn’t realize until he asked for my email address that he had been hitting on me. (when did i become old enough for old dudes to assume i am a viable candidate for them? damn, that sucks.) i accidentally gave him my actual email address instead of a fake one because i’ve never needed a fake email address before and didn’t have one ready. (i use my childhood phone number as my fake phone number because it rolls off my tongue without contemplation.) when put on the spot, the safest strategy in today’s climate is to give fake contact info because we live in a world where every dickhead who hits on a woman is a potential psycho who might react unpredictably violently if directly rejected because every dude who has ignored my obvious verbal and nonverbal cues of disinterest and proceeds to ask for my contact info is at least an insensitive unaware dipshit or a possible psycho. i regretted giving my email address as soon as my autopilot response had said it. i don’t want him emailing me. i didn’t want our initial interaction and i don’t want another. his approach reinforces to me that i’m older now, old enough for white-haired men to view me as a potential candidate for a range of things i don’t want. i’m not yet old enough to desire retired dudes for anything beyond platonic interactions that i initiate, even if they think i am. i forgot in my relaxed state on this tiny island where i’m retreating that i’m still a target for unwanted sexual attention. i’m debating the pros and cons of shaving my head and tattooing my face and cultivating a colony of bacteria in my body crevices as an exit strategy from sexual objectification. if i choose to go that route, you’ll know before you see me, you’ll know by the stench the precedes me.