Its now official - I have a stalker. It was really
inevitable if you think about it. My celebrity status is officially
out of control. I think it was all the Ann Arbor Tippy Cup All-Stars©
this is a situation that has been brewing for some time now. Back in
the days when I had a ravenous nicotine habit, I spent a lot of time
on my porch (smoking, duh). It so happens that I have an elderly (60+,
who knows for sure how old) neighbor who likes to stop and chit chat.
Me, feeling sorry for her, usually indulge her despite my usual penchant
for telling people to fuck off. She would tell me about how she invented
the phrase 'as good as it gets' or about her famous ex-husband who really
loved her even though he left her, or yell at me when I had a date who
brought her dog over ("People who want dogs usually have to live somewhere
else!") But of course ending the conversation is like chewing your leg
off to get out of a bear trap - even when its midnight and the neighbors
are telling her to be quiet because of the late hour.
Fortunately, when the smoking went away - so did the crazy lady. (One
of the few actual benefits of quitting, along with less severe hangovers
and not having to go inside gas stations) I spend no time on the porch
in the winter and the blinds are usually closed so she can't slowly
walk by my sliding glass door, hoping that I'll come out and talk to
her. That is until last night.
had taken the garbage out and upon my return, failed to close the blinds
100%. Now I'm telling you they were at least 85% closed. I could barely
see out, and figured no one could really see in. So it being Thursday,
I'm watching The O.C. and having a couple vodka and sodas (Seth's
a pot head by the way. Sweet) So I'm watching The O.C. when out
of the corner of my eye I see what looks like someone doing semaphore
(sans flags) on the sidewalk. Despite the months of inactivity I knew
crazy had come home to roost. Instinct crept in and I didn't turn my
head. The inner monologue went something like this:
Holy shit! How long has she been standing there? Don't
look. Eyes on The O.C. She can't stand there forever. Should
I look to see if she's still there? Don't turn your head, just look
with your eyes dummy. Crap she's still there. Can she see my eyes
Alright its been 10 minutes. Commercial time. Go make
another drink. Take your time. By the time you get back, she'll be
gone. Mmmm vodka tastes good. Ok let's go back and sit...fuck me she's
still there. How can I enjoy The O.C. like this? Should I just
go talk to her? No way. That would definitely ruin The O.C.
You're going out at 10, if by miracle she's still there, you walk
and talk, get in your car and go. God what if she's still out there
at 10? Better go to the back of the apartment, after a while she'll
get the hint.
Alright, she can't see me but I can't see The O.C.
I bet if I stand in the hallway, I can see The O.C. but she
can't see me. A little bit closer... Perfect. Ten minutes left, she'll
be gone by then. No way she stands out side my apartment for over
half an hour when she can't even see me.
Alright The O.C. is over. Good episode. I hope they
don't go Afterschool Special with Seth's pot smoking. Let's see if...
Whew! she's gone. Man that was close. Let's turn things off, grab
my jacket, finish my vodka/soda (Mmmmm), grab my keys, head out the
door and OH FUCK!
she stood, right outside the door to my apartment. I was seriously freaked
out. I should note at this point that my building has a buzzer system,
where you can't get in the building without a key or someone buzzing
you in. She has no key and I didn't buzz her in, so obviously one of
my lovely neighbors held the door for her as they were coming home.
Thank Christ my door was locked, or who knows, she may
have walked right into my apartment. Anyway, back to me, freaking out
as I walk out the door only to be confronted by crazy lady. She thrusts
a letter in my face (no hi, how are ya, where ya going, sorry to bother
you) and says "Do you think this is real? It says I won $75,000.00"
I glance at the letter, feigning interest, trying to figure out how
quickly I can chew my leg off. "Looks like a scam" I say, trying to
wedge myself past her without invading her personal space, thus giving
any kind of sign of trust or familiarity. "But it says right here at
the bottom 'This is not a scam'." 'No fucking way,' I say to myself.
This I need to verify.
So I look again, and sure enough, at the bottom, it
says "This is not a scam", italicized and bolded. "Well, I wouldn't
trust it. People don't give away that kind of money on computer printed
form letters." She looks devastated. She finally takes her steely gaze
of me and begins to look over the letter (for what I can only imagine
is the 900th time) But again, instinctually I use the opportunity to
electric slide right past her (Its Electric!)
now have a clear path to freedom. I can hear my heart beat in my ears.
She's following me, still talking. I'm answering her, agreeing with
her about whatever it is she's saying. For all I know I'm agreeing to
come over to dinner tomorrow night. But I'm outside now. She's not in
the building anymore, the situation is diffused.
I fumble with my keys - it gives me something to stare
at, thus avoiding eye contact. I hear goodnight as my foot leaves sidewalk
for blacktop. I finally turn to look back as my key hits the driver's
side door "Have a good one" I say, or some hokey bullshit of that ilk.
I start the car and glance up to see the back of crazy lady's head as
she walks away. The nightmare is over. When I get home tonight I'm closing
the blinds. Man I need a cigarette.