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such a nasty woman | by maryann johanson

question of the weekend: Have you ever witnessed a crime?

Have you ever witnessed a crime?

The closest I’ve come is the one New Year’s Eve many years ago when I was traveling home very late — around 3am — on the subway and saw a man who had been screaming abuse at a woman who appeared to be his wife or girlfriend. There were lots of people on the platform, waiting for the train, but nobody said a word to this guy. I can’t remember now the actual words he was screaming, but this was way beyond any sort of normal argument, and the woman was only cowering in front of him, not even responding to him. And then — this was when I lost it — as the train came into the station, he grabbed the woman by the back of her coat and dragged her toward the train. I can’t remember now what I screamed at the guy or what I hoped it would accomplish, but I was so furious to see this that I started screaming at the guy. I think I also probably told the woman that she didn’t have to take being treated like that — I think I probably hoped that she would get off the train and let the train go without her on it. It didn’t work.
As soon as the train pulled away, I could see, around the curve of the platform, that two cops were standing down at the other end. They hadn’t been there before — maybe they’d just gotten off the train — and it made me wish that I’d held up the train by holding the doors and had screamed louder. Probably they wouldn’t have interfered, either — I’m not sure if what the man had done technically qualified as criminal assault — but I’ve never forgotten this incident, and wondered if I could have done more. And I wonder what might have happened to that woman, and if I made things even worse for her by yelling at the guy.

Time to share your terrible story…

(This weekend’s question comes from the conversation-starting game Table Topics: Not Your Mom’s Dinner Party Edition [Amazon U.S.].)

(If you have a suggestion for a QOTD/QOTW, feel free to email me. Responses to this QOTW sent by email will be ignored; please post your responses here.)

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