It is difficult to remain intentionally unconscious of the man standing there, watching you, on the periphery of your vision: the place where you’re exerting effort not to look.
He called out as you pulled in, and you, off-guard, looked up and smiled before you recognized the nature of his “hello, laadiesss”, drawn out like that.
Now you’re pretending, with a mighty effort: pretending there’s a wall in place, through which he cannot reach you. Pretending you’re not both aware of your window, rolled all the way down.
He is standing right there, still trying to get your attention, but you’re pretending, because that’s your best weapon, to bend your head down.
You stare at the pages, there is a wall, and look like you are too absorbed in your book to notice anything else, in particular too absorbed to notice this man.
This is it, it’s what you have: you have the strength of your resolve. So you sit still, assert a reality that isn’t true, so confidently that he will be forced to live in it.
There is a wall, you force him to believe. A wall through which I can’t be touched, and he stays still.
Even as he forces you to know: your best defense is to turn your face (as though deferentially) down.