The Breathing Test
"Surely he asked first..."
As I approached the piano, I wondered why the girl on the stool wasn't playing. As I approached, I saw her talking amicably to a guy standing there, while they ignored a third person, a man dancing to music I learned was coming from his bag beside the piano.
"Surely he asked first" I thought to myself, unoptimistically, "Who would make it impossible to use the piano without the consent of the musicians present, and without an understanding that when the pianist wanted to play their activity would take precedence, since the speaker is mobile and the piano is not...."
I would learn later that he had in fact been interrupting the girl at the piano, playing keys during her turn, etc.
At first I sat down cross-legged and waited my turn at the piano, wondering when the pianist would choose to play and the recorded music would be paused...
The man interrupted my silence, asking for a cigarette, I told him twice that it wasn't tobacco.
I asked him if the speaker playing music beside the piano was his, he said yes and asked if I wanted it turned off and I said "Well if she wants to play I don't want to listen to both at once, but by all means let the current song finish, don't interrupt it."
He then said multiple times "Go ahead and turn it of if you want" and I had to repeat "I said let the song finish" and he said "you make the rule" and I said "rules is a whole other topic"
Eventually he asked for weed, I said sure, we can take turns, one breath each... this concept was totally lost on him:
I refilled the pipe and took a deep draw on the pipe, inhaling as long as humanly possible, demonstrating pranayama and the chill this gentleman sorely lacked.
I tapped him on the arm and I handed him the pipe still lit, for him to inhale, while I held my breath--he complained he had difficulty inhaling while I motioned or him to be silent as I was holding my breath. When I began my exhale I told him "stop speaking"
When I was done exhaling I tapped him on the arm again and reclaimed my pipe for the next inhalation and he protested that he hadn't gotten a good draw, I told him he could try again on his next turn and inhaled LONGER than humanly possible, again demonstrating pranayama and the chill this gentleman sorely lacked.
I told him briefly that he didn't know how to breathe and that it defeats the purpose of weed if you can't breathe properly. When I claimed my pipe for my third inhalation he clutched it, viscerally not really acknowledging my ownership of it,
I then begin to explain to him the idea that speaking involves the lungs, and that by speaking to me on his turn he is interrupting my breathing, and wasting his opportunity to inhale.
After two tries of explaining this, he cut me off each time. So I switched to stating that he was interrupting, and then telling him not to interrupt.
I asked him if he was drunk and he scoffed and glanced at the end of a bottle of hard liquor sticking out of the same bag as the speaker.
When he persisted in interrupting I told him I did not want to speak to him anymore, and to leave me alone. Much to my chagrin he IGNORED MY NO and insisted on interrupting me with an apology for interrupting, which I did not accept and simply reiterated multiple times for him to stop talking to me while I waited to use the piano.
I increased the volume each time and he kept ignoring my conversational boundaries insisting on speaking despite my refusal. The sick fuck actually smiled because he ENOYED the fact that his ignoring my boundaries was upsetting me. Now he was really going to have it. I shouted a great many things at him, including that I didn't want to talk to him in the first place, I was only being 'nice', and that I did NOT like him, and that I didn't care who he was or what he had to say, that he was to stop speaking to me immediately.
I eventually screamed so loudly in his face "YOU'RE STILL TALKING" that the whole of Christie Pitts (at night) was silent for a moment, and then he persisted -- I had had enough, I grabbed my bike with my right hand and and swung it over my head, still cross-legged on the ground, so that it landed between both of us, threatening to collide with him 'by accident', and I proceeded to shove my bike slowly into him, telling him to get away from me.
I then grabbed his own phone and attempted to use it to call 911, as I didn't have a phone with me. A brief scuffle ensued. This surprised him and he started to look concerned. The girl at the piano pulled out her phone and called the cops. Now he looked really concerned. I stood up and swung my bike in the air as he pursued me a few metres to the other side of the piano and he briefly grabbed my bike in his hand, and heard the girl describing his actions into the phone...
During that process he had shouted "SUCK MY DICK" and I told him "Dude, I'm *not* into you."
He started to back way, calling me a "Pussy" and saying "That's what you do? You go and call the police you little pussy!" As he backed away I pursued for a few metres keeping a fixed distance of 5 metres or so, and he started to come back and said "Oh, you want to say something to me?" I simply turned away as I said "No, I'm just watching you walk away".
After he left and she ended the call the other dude said "Wow! Now it's just three cool people here!" and he was right, we proceeded to have a great, interesting conversation the three of us, with perfect turn-taking, and then I could finally hear this girl play: FUCK SHE WAS TALENTED, and this stupid douchebag had been ruining it.
Later, after I also hopped on the piano, the other guy was entranced by my (admittedly sensitive) playing and had a sudden frame shift and remarked "Wow you really screamed at that guy!" since the contrast was so stark.
I remarked that it really triggers me when someone ignores a basic 'no', and that harassers take advantage of the fact that pianos are fixed and immobile, and they thanked me for doing something about the guy who had already been bothering them before he failed "the breathing test" and "the interruption test" and "the no means no" test. I remarked that he was rapist material and when I had been screaming at him to leave me alone I added on a few lessons for him such as "If you ignore MY 'no' in THIS situation it means YOU IGNORE SOMEONE ELSE'S TOO, ASSHOLE!"
I later remarked to another friend that, since 'no' is one syllable, a good prerequisite to test behaviorally if a man respects consent is if he both hears and listens to every syllable when someone talks. This is a great way to know if someone has had too much to drink....ps try swinging your bike in the air at drunks, it does throw them off.