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.
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.
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?