I was at the 3rd Ave bus stop with over-ear headphones on, hands in pockets, and a vacant/semi-jamming-out-expression on my face, one among many in a crowd of late-afternoon commuters. Two minutes into waiting for the 28 bus, Mr. Persistent approached me. 
He initially got my attention by entering my field of vision ostensibly to ask for directions or about the bus route. Turns out instead that he just felt entitled to fling some unwanted overtures my way. He asked me if I had a boyfriend, asked for my phone number, and asked, “What's so ugly about me? Huh?'”
After I repeated "no, thank you, just waiting for the bus” and "yes, boyfriend, sorry—not giving you my phone number" while attempting to walk away, Mr. Persistent would not let up and seemed completely down to follow me about the length of the bus stop to get the desired answers to such burning questions. 
Luckily for me, two nice guys stepped in to distract him and to ask me if Mr. Persistent was bothering me. They began physically blocking him from me, and one fellow was patient enough to step in to get yelled at by Mr. Persistent until the bus arrived. 
My impulse to beat myself up afterward about engaging Mr. Persistent in the first place was significantly reduced by the fact that there were folks who had my back and who were willing to diffuse the situation. Not sure if those two guys are Stranger readers, but this is just a "thank you" I'd like to throw out into the local universe and to those folks who knew what to do and did it without hesitation (and without further escalation or violence). 
In the meantime, I hope Mr. Persistent can learn that "no" means "no," and I hope he stops harassing captive audiences on the street.
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