First, let me say this: I’ve swollen up to sexy Michelin Man proportions (only sans “Man” bits) and am having a terrible time making my fingers properly work. My doctor seems to think this is No Big Deal, as my pressures have been decent, and I did end up swelling badly with Ben (read: I looked like a sausage bursting from it’s casing) but that was August. And this…is January. So, in the mean time, I’m watching my pressures and having a terrible time using my computer. But I heart My Internet so I will soldier on.

(cue Celin Dione music, Maestro) Somehow, my fingers will go on…

And Coco, you sexy bitch, you won my impromptu contest about passive aggression. No one can top faking a death. NO ONE. So let me use my 3 remaining brain cells to come up with something fitting to send you.

Moving on.

So, after Daver and I were dating for awhile, his lease was up on his place in the city and he moved to Oak Park, where I lived with him a couple days each week. When I was in nursing school, I had to do clinical time in the hospitals learning the ropes on Actual! Live! People. I’ll give you a moment to digest how scary that sounds for all those patients I cared for.

Better? Good.

But having chosen a school that operated about 45 minutes from my house meant that the hospitals that agreed to have us lowly students work on their patients (for free) were similarly far from my house. And not being exactly an Angel of the Morning, Dave graciously offered to let me stay with him on the nights before the clinicals so that I wouldn’t have to interrupt my beauty sleep in order to get to the hospital at ungodly hours (read: 6 AM).

Plus, we could bone. Which is always good.

One night that winter, we walked down to the downtown part of Oak Park to catch some dinner at the Indian place there and afterwards (since Ben was not with us) we popped over to the huge Borders there to browse. It was a favorite thing to do, going in there, grabbing a cup of coffee and listening to some of the CD’s they had out on display, and it’s something that a child and a half later, I miss doing.

But I digress.

So there I was, several aisles away from where Daver stood listening to his whiny Emo crap while I rocked out to the subtle sounds of the new Christina Aguilera album when I realized that I was not alone in my aisle. Being Oak Park, with it’s bazillion (read: 52,524) people meant sharing a ton of space with said people, so this didn’t even register on my radar besides noting the gigantic dent in this dude’s forehead.

After finishing that CD, I made my way to another aisle to listen to something different and after a few moments I noticed again that Mr. Dent In His Forehead was in my new aisle. Odd, but not entirely unlikely. I didn’t own the patent on the space between aisles, so whatever. About a half an hour after this, I saw that he was still in my aisle as I made my way to yet another aisle. This time, the one with my future The Daver in it.

I went up to him and teased him briefly about whatever he was listening to, he teased me back and we began to discuss what our next plans involved. Mainly, bed. Now, I noticed that Dent Face was not only in THIS aisle with us, but watching me intently. I tested my This Guy Is Following Me theory out by walking to different aisles, and I was now right: he was following me from aisle to aisle, not being even remotely discreet about it.

Now, as full of myself as I tend to be, I’d normally write this off to my glaring hotness, but there was something in the way that he looked at me that made me acutely uncomfortable. Kind of like he was imagining what my brain might look like smeared on the walls of his apartment.

I feel that I must add that I’m not an alarmist by even the remotest standards. I don’t have pepper spray, I rarely lock the doors to my cars and I don’t see Aspiring Murder/Rapist on every passing person. My parents were/are hippies and always taught us not to be afraid of people. Which I’m not.

Except for This Dude. Who had not only begun to make me sweat in my jacket, but fear for my life. Daver, God love him, isn’t a huge and imposing guy and this dude looked like he would have happily snapped his neck to get at me. I’ll never know why I reacted this way to seeing this guy, but I did. And I panicked.

What the hell is someone who is in a retail place only being stared at by some creepy guy supposed to do? Call the police? Tell a Border’s employee? What the hell are they gonna do about it? He was LOOKING at me, not shining a knife and pointing it at me.

And yet, and yet all of my hackles were raised and my flight or fight response began to kick into high gear and I was utterly stuck there. We had a car, mine, parked in the garage behind Borders, but walking there in the dark of night while some creepy dude made “I’m Going To Enjoy Killing You, Bitch” eyes at me? Didn’t sound appealing or bright.

But what choice did we have? None, really.

The entire walk/run back to the garage was torture: I honestly feared for my life, something I’d rarely done before, if ever. We hightailed it out of there, and uncharacteristically I made The Daver drive us home while I shook like a frail leaf in the passenger seat. I cannot honestly believe that I didn’t piss my pants.

It took the rest of the night and a large amount of Jack Daniels for me to calm down and not stare out the windows for Mr. Denty-Pants (although I do admit to doing that a fair bit), whom I thankfully never saw again.

I’ll never know if I was right in being fucking freaked the hell out by this dude, or if I was mainly being a damn pansy about the whole situation, but hell, even 5 years later, the whole situation makes me a little squiggly inside.

I’ve heard that we humans have a sense for this sort of thing, a vestigial DANGER, DANGER sense that will go off when something out of the ordinary is going on and you are in danger of something, but I never knew if it was true until then. I’m still not sure, I guess.

What do you think?

Comments = full of the awesome. Like gravy. I can haz an RSS RSS feed .

27 Responses to I Almost Got Killed This One Time

  • First of all … had no idea that the Michelin Man *had* any visible man bits.

    Second … I’m so there with you about hanging out at the local Borders, drinking coffee and overall mooching off magazine reading so I can get my fill of weekly celeb gossip … oh, wait that’s me.

    Thirdly … yeah, WTF? They make us “student nurses” *practice* on real people. Holy crap. I think I may have freaked out more about stuff than the actual patient I was taking care of.

    Finally … It’s always good to trust your instincts. I call it my “Danger, Will Robinson” signal. I witnessed a very similar situation at the local library back when I was studying (in Nursing school … hey, I sense a theme). Hubby … actually, then-boyfriend … and I happened to notice some guy standing close by to our table staring at some girl (who’s back was turned to us) who was another two or three tables down. No big deal at first, except he wouldn’t keep his eyes off her (I swear he didn’t even blink) and he wouldn’t move an inch. For an hour. It. Was. Creepy.

    So being the good “citizen” I am, Hubby & I walked over to her pretending to ask her a question and then sat down to tell her what I had seen for the past hour. She, herself, said had this weird strange feeling but couldn’t pinpoint it. Hubby & I offered to drive her home (she rode her bike), but she said she would call someone to pick her up. We waited with her until her ride came.

    And even though it didn’t happen directly to me, I will NEVER forget that moment. It was simply scary as HELL.

  • Catizhere says:

    I absolutely believe in the “Gut-Feeling”. It has served me well in the past. Walking to my old job, I had to pass a large open field. It was around 7 pm in December, so it was dark. As I passed the bus stop, a young guy stepped out & asked if I had a cigarette. I said, “No, I don’t smoke.” and kept going. I KNEW this guy was going to do something. I knew it. Sure enough, as I came to a row of hedges, he ran up behind me, grabbed me & tried to pull me behind the bushes. Little did this asshole know that I have 5 older brothers. They taught me how to handle myself. I half-turned, reached down & grabbed his balls and squeezed/twisted as hard as I could while stomping repeatedly on his feet. (I had my favorite cowboy boots with a 2 inch stacked heel on.)
    He let me go & I ran to the first house I came to. Thankfully the lady had heard me scream (I didn’t remember screaming) and was heading outside to see what was going on. We called the police. They took my statement & went out looking for the guy. Never found him.
    After her husband went out to make sure that the guy was gone, he gave me a ride the rest of the way to work. It didn’t hit me until I was safely at work that asshole could have had a knife or a gun. I could be dead. When I got home that night and told my parents what had happened, my brothers spent the better part of that night driving around looking for a guy dressed in a dark green hooded sweatshirt walking with a decided limp.

    I’m glad that you trusted your instincts and got out of there safely.

  • mumma boo says:

    The dent in his forehead was from the last chick he stalked letting fly with a tire iron. *shudder* Yup, I think we all have that instinct. I used to ride the bus to work, and every day one of my fellow passengers told me how much he wanted to paint me. I laughed it off, but the day he stayed on the bus past his stop to see where I got off the bus is the day I rode the bus right to the town police station, where I got off and told him I was going in to see my dad, my older brother, and my two uncles. A total lie, but he never bothered me again.

  • Betts says:

    I’m glad for you that your “weirdar” was turned on because he definitely sounds strange. I was stalked once by a guy who showed up at my house pretending to be a salesman. It got my hackles up, and I was afraid to go home because he might show up again. A guy co-worker “had a talk” with him after I spotted him in a car outside of where we worked. I never saw him again.

  • Em says:

    I absolutely believe it. I ignored it once – I will never again.

    Take care of yourself!!!

  • lola says:

    Of course you did the right thing. He probably was a nutjob. It’s always in the eyes. I can spot a whacko on the other side of the room. I always trust my gut, and I always have. It’s never steered me wrong.

    Me beady-eyed stalker STARES at me whenever he sees me, and I do carry pepper spray and a few tools that could put a major hurt on him. I carried them before he came along, but he makes me want to use them right there in the hallways of the elementary school our kids attend.

    So sorry about the giant fingers. That’s gotta hurt.

  • People are creepy! I surely think there’s truth to the whole intuition thing.

  • Laura says:

    I totally believe in going with your gut. I met my husband on an online dating site. However, before meeting him, I think I met all the losers on that site. There were definitely times when the instincts were buzzing with the warnings. Judging by some of the very angry reactions I got when I turned down a few dates, I feel like it definitely kept me out of trouble.

  • Kristine says:

    Whoa, that’s creepy. But when you sense it, it’s generally there.

  • CourtneyRyan says:

    I absolutely believe in the fact that your tummy knows best. Food, booze, danger, bad dates etc. If my tummy says, “No” I don’t go there.

    I wish more people would listen to that little voice, their psychic twinkle, gut instinct or whatever they want to call it…

  • LAS says:

    I absolutely believe in the gut feeling. I have been known to make major decisions based on it.

  • Stacey says:

    I totally believe in the gut response in those situations. Sounds like you had a serious nut job on your hands

  • Coco says:

    Remember in “Silence of the Lambs” when Clarice found out Dr. Lecter was on the loose? That’s how I felt about Dent-Guy when I read this story! Thank GOD you got away from him safely. Ugh! Heebie-jeebie time for sure.

    Always, ALWAYS trust your gut. Always. If it turns out to be nothing, you can always laugh at yourself later. If you end up chained to a metal rack in some blood-soaked basement because you didn’t listen to your inner alarms, it’s much harder to find the humor in that.

    What? I watch a lot of horror flicks.

    Oh, and hey! My family member faking death story won, speaking of creepy weirdos people should avoid. You don’t have to send me anything (seriously), just the warm feeling of pride in my winning relative is enough. Heh.

  • Mara says:

    Oh darling. It’s so nice to know the underbelly of Oak Park. I’m so glad I live here….with Mr. Denty-Pants.

  • heather says:

    I have an unnatural fear of all things human. Okay, not all things, but all things male, creepy, and lurching. Dent head maybe needed another one between his eyes, no? I get creeped out by people all the time, but I’d rather overreact and scoot then find out too late that I should’ve.

  • birdpress says:

    Whether it’s true or not, I think you did the right thing trusting your instincts. No point in taking chances, right?

    Where is that baby already? I keep checking back here to see. I hope you’ll get the Daver or someone to post for you if you can’t get to a computer too soon after. Good luck!

  • guilty noodles says:

    That was my husband, Mr DentFace.

  • a says:

    Was the dent like an interesting geographical feature, or was it a brain damaging event feature? That may give you some clue as to dangerousness. (Slight dent = damage to the impulse control features of the brain, deep dent = fascinated by shiny objects) I dated a guy from Oak Park when I was in high school – they have a large stockpile of weirdos there.

    I have no internal danger radar, but I don’t seem to need one. Apparently, I look like the lost sheep that people want to help. One day, I was walking down State St. in Chicago, with my purse slung across my body. This nice-looking young black man comes up to me and says “you should keep your purse where you can see it, or the pickpockets will get in it. I know, I used to be one.” “Um, thanks?” Another time, I was on the “L” and I was standing near a homeless dude (way back in the ’80s when they were still bums). I wasn’t paying any attention to him, but other people were. I started walking towards the door, because my stop was coming up. He was following me. As I got off the train, two people (a middle aged lady, and a guy in his late 20s/early 30s) stood up and blocked the aisle so the homeless dude couldn’t follow me off the train.

    Hope your swelling goes down…but it probably won’t until that baby decides to grace you with her presence.

  • SciFi Dad says:

    Dude, that is fucked up.

    (Also? The lapse in posting made me think you’d squeezed out another puppy.)

  • mandy says:

    I AM scared of everyone. Paranoid freak that I am. But I’d say, you are probably right about his thoughts consisting of your beautiful brains on his walls. Good call, better safe than sorry anyway. I’d probably alert a sec person and ask for them to watch you walk to your car. With or without a beau by your side!

  • Melissa says:

    I had my own recent Mr. DentyHead encounter, so I hear ya loud and clear. I’d went out for drinks with a few friends, and this man would. Not. Leave. Me. Alone. Creepy comments, inappropriate staring, the works. I ignored him, but it wasn’t working.

    It ended when he put his arm over mine and pinned it to the bar. I tore off four DEEP foot long epidermal gouges with my fingernails and told him in my best “girl gone undone” voice to get his arm off me NOW.

    The bartender tossed him out on his ear. I love the bartender.

  • Holli says:

    I think that every single person you who survives an attack will tell you that they knew something was going to happen. They had a feeling. It’s when we stop trusting our feelings that we get ourselves in trouble.

  • BB says:

    We had a guy like that at our high school, and he used to follow me around whenever he saw me and it freaked me out. I would get that same danger feeling whenever I new he was around. He also worked at Eagles with my future husband, then boyfriend, so unfortunately, I was around this creepy dude more than I would have liked. At one of the dances at the school, someone had to help me get away from him because he would not leave me alone. I don’t blame you for freaking out.
    The weird thing is that we ran into this same weirdo this past New Years Eve, and my husband would not stop reminding me about it the whole time we were there.

  • Dreamybee says:

    You have got to read The Gift of Fear by Gavin De Becker. It talks all about this kind of stuff and how humans will override that gut instinct in the name of not wanting to appear rude. I think the best example he gives of this is when he talks about that creepy feeling you get when an elevator opens up and there’s somebody in there that gives you the heebie jeebies, but you don’t want to seem rude, so you get on anyway. He then points out that humans are the only animal in the world that will willingly get into a soundproof steel box with another animal that makes them uncomfortable. So, yeah, go with your gut!

  • Sarah says:

    I think we have gut instinct for a reason, and you listened to yours. Good call.

    Ever read the book The Gift of Fear? Not saying you should, but the basic premise is if more people listened to their guts like you did, and didn’t rationalize away what every fiber of their being was screaming at them, worry what people would think and ignore their raging inner WTF meters, we’d have a noticeable decrease in murders, or at least assaults and batteries!

    And when a creepy old man tried to molest me and my children in the empty grocery store aisle, I told the manager. (After I told Creepy Old Man to FRO, of course.) They’d been looking for him… apparently he came there often and harassed the other customers while his wife shopped in willful ignorance fairly regularly – normally they in turn followed him, but he’d dodged them. He hadn’t done enough to warrant being kicked out by their policies, but they figured if they followed him enough they would either get that dirt or keep him on his best behavior if by standing around in uniform near him. Most places have security these days… and there’s the theoretical possibility that a customer could sue the company for not stopping harassment on their property. Hopefully my complaint added to their ability to ban him from the store. Just sayin’!

    Focusing all my best Pop Out That Baby NOW energy your way!!

  • Sara says:

    Unless you are my sister who freaks about EVERYTHING, then it was perfectly normal for you to feel this way. I’m sure I would have thought the same thing. You are still alive, so obviously, you did something right. Even if that guy wasn’t a killer.

    Just sayin’…

  • Fancy says:

    Always trust your gut instinct! That “woman’s intuition” thing is more like our sixth sense that guides us where reason refuses to acknowledge logic.

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