++My very own stalker ++
or how a crack in the blinds can lead to a sticky situation


January 28th, 2005

Here's hoping Jodie Foster has tight security

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© publicity.

ANYWAY, 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.

I 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 move?

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!

There 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. Thanks guys.

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!)

I 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.

Posted 10:20pm

This is me

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