The Little Pervert
It was that hour of the day where the sun is painting everything in the city a beautiful shade of orange as I boarded the train. All of the seats were taken, but the train wasn’t what I would call crowded. I stood in the middle of the area where the doors were, and put in my headphones. I had just finished an interview with a fairly famous musician about an hour before, and was looking forward to getting home.
Standing 2 or 3 steps away from me to my right was a girl of about 23 in a short skirt and tall boots. Deadly combo. She had a sweet face, but I guessed she probably worked as a hostess somewhere. I shifted my focus off of her and onto the recording of my interview.
At the next station, a young boy of about 14 years old wearing a school uniform boarded the train.
And this… is where things started.
As the kid boarded the train, he stood behind her at a distance that couldn’t have been more than a few centimeters. This stood out. The train wasn’t all that crowded and he was in plain view of everyone. And everyone noticed. But this is Japan, which means that just as quickly as they noticed, they switched to pretending that they saw nothing.
You know what they say… Ignorance is bliss.
But the girl noticed and she took about 2 steps closer to the door. It would seem that she couldn’t maintain the same blissful state as the other passengers. And if this had been any normal day, or any normal 14 year old Japanese kid, the story might have stopped there.
But instead, the young guy waited about 10 seconds and reached up to grab the handle near the do0r. As he did this he ever-so-slyly moved himself back into position, almost pressed up against this girl.
Much to my surprise, she did nothing. For almost a full minute she remained exactly where she was with this little Japanese boy pressed up against her. But as we arrived at the next station, she took this as an opportunity to maneuver herself into the corner space created by the intersection of the doors and the seats.
As soon as the door closed, he moved in again. Just as sly as last time. But this time, pressed right up against her.
Now… From the moment this started, everyone on the train noticed. And yet nobody reacted. Nobody said a thing, and nobody did a thing. In fact, I started to wonder if I was going crazy or completely misreading the situation. In fact the little f***er even had the balls to not only make, but hold eye contact with me several times in the reflection of the glass. His face and eyes carrying an expression that would imply that nothing out of the ordinary was going on.
I was confused.
Was I really seeing this?! Should I say something?! Do something?!
And that’s when the situation changed a little. He started to bend his knees and actually rub up against her, and this was when I caught a glimpse of her face. It was no longer sweet, but instead she looked furious, and was pouring sweat.
Now, I have a standing promise with myself to not get involved in other peoples issues here in Japan. In Japan (especially in Tokyo) making an attempt to help someone out, can often turn around on you and make for a very long and stressful day. (See “Why I No Longer Help People in Tokyo“). But this was a little more than I was willing to take.
I lightly grabbed him by his back pack and only meant to pull him backwards, but when I noticed, I had partially lifted him off the ground to the point where his toes were barely touching. I thought to myself that I should stop, but for some reason I just didn’t care in that moment. There I stood in front of everybody holding this boy who now looked like a cat being held by the scruff of its neck, and I just couldn’t care less that they were all staring. I remember myself thinking “A girl is getting felt up on the train, and you all do nothing, but NOW you stare?!?“.
With him still in the air, I leaned forward and whispered in his ear. I gave him 2 options, neither one particularly attractive, but the later of the 2 at least allowed him to escape without any real damage being done.
He froze and said nothing. People were still staring and I was becoming increasingly more aware of my situation and the number of people watching me.
And then, he finally gave in (and I let go). He went with the second option (which was a very public-style apology). Right there in front of everyone in the train, he dropped down on his hands and knees and apologized to the girl (which in retrospect was not as good of an idea as I had originally hoped considering this only served to embarrass her further >_<). After his apology, he remained in his bow for what felt like an eternity (but in reality was probably less than 15 seconds)
As the doors opened at the next station, the young boy got off and disappeared at a speed that I can only describe as impressive considering his size.
He was gone, but I was still stuck on the train with this girl and all the witnesses. I really should have gotten off with him. Hindsight is always 20/20…
As the train finally arrived at its last stop the girl turned to me over her shoulder and took a moment to thank me. We are friends to this day, and it turns out that I was right about her job (^_-). (I still think her choice of outfit that day was… well… problematic to say the least. But that’s for another post).
At the end of this I was left feeling shocked, flabbergasted, and having a lot less faith in humans than I did when I left home that day (which is pretty bad considering that those numbers are already running pretty low…).
I found myself truly concerned with this country and what it’s coming to.
Honestly, what does it say when a kid of that age is already taking part in these type of activities?!
This incident was actually one of the main moments that inspired this website.
I wonder what that little 14 year old is doing now… On second thought, probably better not to think about it.