Every Saturday morning early, S. and I ride the train together. I get off on the second stop while she rides forty minutes past there to teach in Brooklyn. My stop comes fast, and when it does come, S. will either give me a little nod or a small head shake. A nod means that she is comfortable kissing me goodbye. A shake means that someone is making her uncomfortable and that we do not kiss goodbye. I could insist on making a statement, but kissing someone goodbye isn't a true goodbye kiss if it is there to make a statement to an audience. It is just for us. And she has to sit on the car for forty more minutes. If someone creepy or dangerous is on with her, it is not safe for her to draw attention to herself. She is a woman alone in an enclosed space. Some people don't get to protect themselves by hiding, but we can, and we do.
This morning, I did not get a kiss.