You are not going to believe what happened. There I was, writing a letter to Stalkers ‘R Us to get my name taken off their list when I realized the ultimate truth of the universe.
The post office had raised the price of stamps again.
So I decided to send an email instead. Hey, I’m hype. I’m down with this techno age of emails and text messages and IM-ing. Like, word to your mother, sucker! You down with what I’m saying? Straight up through the gridlock and toss out the junk in the trunk. Slide the Skittles over the skin and punk slap the pimp.
Anyway, I wrote the email and waited to hear back from the company. This morning I read their answer:
Congratulations! We have registered your compliment/complaint with Human Resources and will ship out the necessary items for you to fully enjoy the business services we offer. We have also registered your name to receive our monthly newsletter chock full of fun facts concerning your daily schedule and how you should not wear the pink strapless blouse with the tan dress pants. We believe the white lace halter top would go so much better with the ensemble. The shirt is in the closet, back behind the collection of Pointer Sisters albums and hanging on the autographed hockey stick. And because you are our ONE MILLIONTH CUSTOMER, we have upgraded your service plan to the platinum package. This service entitles you to receive round-the-clock peepers hanging in trees and at least two nightly calls consisting of heavy moaning. But, wait! There’s more! On laundry days we will snatch your clean underwear off the clothesline and write obscene messages on your car windshield using the red lipstick you keep in your cosmetics bag in the bathroom.
Thanks again for contacting, Stalkers ‘R Us! We look forward to terrorizing you!
I sighed and deleted the email. Sometimes you can’t win for trying. All I can do now is to wait for this mysterious shipment to arrive. Since misery loves company, I will now get to the third person on my list: the follower.
Stalker number 3: Shadows, shadows, everywhere . . . and not one of them is mine.
We will now fast-forward from my college days to five years later. The date was the same as Prince’s song (or the Artist formerly known as Prince, or The Artist): 1999. The city was a place of bridges and rivers, of steel mills and coke plants (not the beverage or the illegal drug.) The place had two sports teams of honorable mentions (Steelers and Penguins) and one that just plain sucked (and still does, in my opinion, until they break 500 - you lousy Pirates.) The city is called, Pittsburgh.
I lived in this city off and on for about four years. The day I moved away was after two incidents: one where someone shot at my head with a BB gun on my way to work one morning, and the other involved a neighbor - the last freaky guy (the phoner) on my list. So you must wait until next Thursday to read about him.
Like everyone in their middle twenties, this was a time where I pursued the greatest facets of life: booze and boys. And this always leads to the very worst of possible situations to be in.
To get right into this story, I met a guy . . . uh . . . somewhere. I cannot remember. It was one of those times when the cute boy winked at the totally uninterested girl and she turned her head away, which was an obvious sign to him that she was madly in love with his personality. The guy walked up and handed me his phone number. I did not call him. But I did see him again several other times as we talked some more. When he asked me to go on a dinner date, I said, "Sure."
Dinner was . . . weird. The conversation was fine. The food (Chinese) was excellent. Having this man run to the bathroom three times during the dinner was . . . weird. After the meal, we stopped by the local state store and bought some liquor, which we mixed with the convenience store’s Big Gulp drinks and headed to Point State Park for the music festival. We sat on the stone rail watching the boats drift along the three connecting rivers. We hummed to the music and tapped our feet. We talked and laughed.
He went to use the port-a-potty four more times.
Now, at this point I was thinking that maybe he was sick. Maybe he had stomach problems but was afraid of missing our date. So I cut him some slack for hopping up and leaving in the middle of our conversations. I even asked if he wanted to go home and rest because I felt bad for having him take me out to dinner.
He said he was fine. He said he was not sick. And he was all for taking me to his friend’s house nearby so we can take a shower together and . . . well, you knew where this was going.
I was a little confused (okay, A LOT confused) when he said he was fine. He tried to get a little amorous with me right there in the park. The only thought running through my mind was that I wished I had a doctor’s mask because I did not want to be using the portable toilets for the rest of the evening. It was getting late out, so we headed to the bus stop.
More weird stuff on the way.
While waiting for our chugging chariot, he told me to play lookout for any police officers driving by as he hurried into the alley. I peeked down to see what he was doing.
My date was urinating on the wall among the smelly trash.
Well, I can assure everyone of this fact. Nothing can kill a romantic night faster than pissing on a wall near rotting garbage while having your date watch out for cops. I boarded the bus with him zipping up his pants. I really did not want him to sit next to me, but he did anyway. He tried to get amorous with me. I politely declined and got off the bus two blocks away from where I lived. (I make it a rule of thumb to never let a first date know where I live. I always meet them somewhere - at the restaurant, bar, or movie theater. It’s just safer that way in case the date goes bad, which this one did.)
He got off the bus. Angry, he started to accuse me of using him to pay for our dinner and drinks. Hello?! He was the one who invited ME out. I had no problem going Dutch (I find them quite a wonderful people, ha-ha) and to pay for my own meal if he had let me know beforehand. Heck! I have even paid for guys’ meals now and then, which always surprises them. This man never said anything and led me to believe the bill was on him. I never realized he wanted me to repay him, in full, under the bedcovers the very same night.
I was not going to sleep with him. So, he told me to rip up his phone number when I got home. I was fine with that. I stomped across the street hoping to get home before 11pm. When I reached the corner at the red light, I looked back up the sidewalk.
He was following. I saw his face in the streetlight just as he hurried to turn around, acting as if the sidewalk had magically moved him toward me while he was fighting to walk in the opposite direction. After the traffic had cleared the intersection, I kept walking. I deliberately took another route toward the apartment. Halfway up the block, I stopped again and stared behind me.
Yup, you guessed it. The bad date was there, shadowing my footsteps as he ducked behind the bushes to hide.
I didn’t have many options. I could have tried to make a break for the apartments and hope to outrun my date. But such an athletic activity was out of the question when a girl has on an inappropriate wardrobe, such as slippery dress shoes on feet. So I thought for a bit. While I was thinking, one of my neighbors got off the bus and started toward his house. He noticed me and approached as he offered to become my escort on the walk home. Wary of him, it took me a moment to accept his offer as we strolled down the sidewalk together. The bad date saw the bigger man as my protector and chickened out with his pursuit. I never saw him again.
You might be wondering why I was wary of my neighbor. No, he was not a person on my stalker list. What made me nervous about this man was his job profession.
He was the neighborhood drug dealer.