I just felt great need to send a secret but important message to a random human on the street.
Whilst an obvious + common motive for the same impulse could have been a chemical attraction, in my case it was a more noble wish: to give a dire warning to a vulnerable being.
Walking through Sydney City around lunchtime I heard a male voice, metres in front of me, veritably screech at his female partner… “Can you f*kn hurry up! And give me my f*kn Coke!”
As I looked up in surprise, he spun around to glare back at his partner while expectorating fiercely in her direction = in the process, inadvertently locking eyes with me.
I realised I was placed right in between the two of them – my expression of horror was enough for him to recoil back a step, before recovering confidence + audaciously eyeing me up + down, apparently wondering if I was interested in him as a male specimen.
I recognised his arrogant behaviour, demeanour, equipment + visible physical tics as those of a stoned meth junkie with a penchant for partner abuse.
Imagine my horror as his partner came into view over my right shoulder – a well dressed, beautiful of face + form, hugely pregnant (either multiple babies or 40+ weeks), young woman with a kind smile on her face.
She gracefully navigated past me + handed the man his Coca Cola. She was also carrying the rest of their takeaway meals along with their other luggage, visibly weighing her down.
Skeletal meth man only carried a bumbag. As my facial expression changed to disgust, he put on a little performance for my benefit – perfunctorally waiting for her to catch up + patting her back clumsily saying “Are you ok babe?” while still maintaining disco ball (shiny, wide + reflective) eye contact with me. My stomach turned.
The girl didn’t look like a user + still seemed so sweet, patient + submissive. I assume they were at the beginning of their relationship, + I wondered if she knew what he was on + why it felt like she was dating Dr Jekyll + Mr Hyde.
I wanted to speak to the girl + perhaps help her leapfrog a few years of confusion. I wanted to tell her he was an addict, he was going to abuse both her + her babies. I wanted to tell her to leave him, despite (indeed, even for the sake of) her pending motherhood.
Sadly, to avoid triggering a violent altercation with meth man, I forced myself to walk away while still drafting in my head all the things I wanted to say aloud to her.
Imagine if there were a signal I could give in that split second. A sign that she + I should get in contact + communicate later – + a secure way to enable that, even anonymously?
There are many anonymous mobile chat apps, but how could that ping/connection/notification have been activated + allow future comms between us in real life?
In future, it’s possible that augmented reality will train humans so that a split second of mutual extended eye contact could trigger the equivalent of a Tinder swipe right.
Until that day, perhaps posting a message on a “secrets” website – then manually writing down the website url + message ID could suffice… though a time consuming (+ probably unviable) MVP.
Any other ideas, beside my communicating verbally in front of meth man?