June 10, 2007

"'...Just bitch slap me. Go on. Do it.'”

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Once upon a time, I had a stalker. Not a cute, leaves-me-notes- with-hearts-on-them stalker. A shows-up-where-I-am-and-says- crazy-shit stalker. And just when I thought her ass was gone, she’d turn up again. She’d go into hiding for a day or a week or six months and then one day she’d be right back at the coffee shop where I worked, ordering a brownie and a Diet Coke and giving me that leer of equal parts lust and panic. She is thin, pale, and very, very twitchy. She’s high-strung to the point that everything she says and does makes it seem like there’s a gun to her temple. Her voice sounds like Will Ferrell impersonating Janet Reno. And her crowning achievement in crazy-stalkerness is also the best story ever, even if it was terrifying at the time.

So, it’s three years ago. I’m at the bus stop, waiting calmly for the bus to take me to the airport where I will collect Tom, the guy I was dating at the time. I see out of the corner of my eye a twitchy, evil figure that can only be my stalker. I tense and consider going to a different bus stop, but decide to simply stare intently away from her in that manner that says “I am looking for the bus and I do not see you.” She walks by me, waits for the stop light, crosses, and keeps walking. I figure I am safe. Then suddenly she is turning around, waiting for the stoplight, crossing again, and oh shit she is in front of me.

“Hello,” she says in her Janet Reno voice.
“Hello,” I say in my I’m-afraid-of-you voice, not making eye contact.
“How are you?”
“Where are you going?”
“To the airport...” and here I had a stroke of genius, “...to pick up my boyfriend!”

Because clearly now I am gay and taken and she has an easy out. She can just end the conversation and go on her twitchy way and all this will be behind us. And surely her gross infatuation with me can not overcome such an obstacle?

Oh, but it can.

She starts asking me a series of questions about this boyfriend, how old is he what does he do where is he from la la la and she is given one-syllable answers, all without my ever looking directly at her. She ends this litany with: “It’s nice that you have someone.”

“Um... yes?”
“I don’t have someone.”
“What I’m trying to say is... I love you.”

Yes, she actually says this. And I just gape at her openly for quite some time. When I finally recover my ability to think, I stammer, “I don’t know you.” And it was true; up to that point she has just been a crazy girl who had been in my dance class at college even though she went to a different school, and then started showing up at the coffee shop too frequently. And now she is officially my stalker. The story, sadly, continues.

She launches into this litany about how she’s a bad person and she only likes gay men and how if she threw herself in front of a truck right there I wouldn’t care, and I can’t remember word-for-word what she said but I know she ended with the stirring: “...I’m a fag hag and a horrible person and you should just bitch slap me! Just bitch slap me. Go on. Do it.”

And here she bends forward a little and juts out her spindly neck, just to punctuate the invitation. And part of me really wants to just backhand her, but the idea that she might enjoy it stops me. So I just gape at her some more before finally saying, “You’re embarrassing us both, and you need to go.”

She sort of processes this, then nods and mumbles “Okay,” and turns away from me. But there is only the briefest moment of respite before she turns around again, facing me and saying, “Can I just kiss you?”

“No! No!”
And then she reaches out her white, spidery hand.
“Can I just touch you?” The hint of sex in her whisper is unmistakable.
“No! No! You need to go now. You need to go now.” At long last, she mumbles and nods and dodders off.

At this point, I turn to the woman sitting next to me (who has this whole time simply been staring off into the distance, waiting for the bus to come) and apologize, explaining something or other about how she comes into my coffee shop and is clearly unbalanced. I don’t remember what I said. But I know exactly what she said back: “I don’t have a car, so I ride the bus a lot. And I see her sometimes. She seems really... intense.”

And at that exact moment, the bus pulls up. And we get on, and the story finally ends. Now that I have moved halfway across the country, I’d like to think I’ll never see my stalker again. But sickly as she is, she’s a crafty little bitch, and part of me will always keep an eye out for her beady eyes peering around the corner. I’m almost positive she’ll attend my funeral.

contributed by Chris Kelly

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