The Cycle (V)

*I like doing segments of the same story for my prompts.  Maybe they will equal something like a whole novel one day.  More likely I’ll have to hack away at them, cutting and pasting until I get a useable short story.  Today’s prompt (“I’m being followed”) is courtesy of BareKnuckleWriter.   I just started following her.  I think I’m gonna like ‘er! 

The Cycle (V)

Many criminalists, and probably most anyone else who a longstanding career in most any aspect of criminal law enforcement, would probably agree that a woman should follow her instinct in regards to “bad feelings.”  If you feel like you’re being watched, you likely are.  If you think you’re being followed, it pays to be paranoid.  As the great author Joseph Heller once said, Just because you’re paranoid, doesn’t mean they aren’t after you.  

Kurt Cobain agreed, and look how he ended up.  He chuckled at his own tasteless joke with evident self-approbation.

The women he had followed had no idea they were being watched.  When he finally approached them, disarming and all smiles, they had no idea they had likely seen him before.  He took no great pains to avoid being seen.  That was how you got noticed.  Someone trying to hide behind a hoodie or a menu, or surreptitiously slip into a doorway appeared suspicious.  His great talent was blending in.  He knew he was too classically handsome, too good-looking, to go unnoticed entirely all the time, but he had perfected the art of looking nonchalant or preoccupied.  Too busy to notice anyone, let alone be approached.

Even still, every once and a while, a woman would approach him.  Not usually the one he was observing, thankfully, but some clueless, brazen bitch who had no idea that the inconvenience of her advances far outweighed any minute ego boost which he might derive.  Yes, sometimes the shyer ones would just try to catch his eye, offer a tentative smile.  But then there were the ones who practically sauntered over.  Try to buy his coffee, make small talk, perhaps actually thinking they would leave with a phone number or a date.  He was usually able to shut them down quickly and effectively, without hurting their pride too much– a wounded woman would remember him– but he always had to abort whatever mission he was on so as not to draw any further attention.

Even those instances where he’d been “spotted” did not concern him greatly.  He’d had plenty of practice over the years, plenty of time to perfect the art of the hunt.  There had been plenty of times when he’d followed people just to see if he could.  There had been many times when he had no intention of doing anything but following.  He didn’t consider it time wasted.  Rather he thought of himself as an actor learning a part.  Like those prissy Hollywood types they called “method actors.”  Only he didn’t get so involved in his work that he wanted to go home and swallow a bottle of pills or drown in a bottle.  He liked his work.

And after his work became less random, more focussed on what came next, he began to be more selective about the object of his attentions.  When he finally moved on to phase two (what he was scarcely aware that he mentally referred to glibly as “the meet and greet,”) he was pleased to discover an unintended result of his “blending in.”   Often the women he engaged had in fact noticed him, but were largely unaware that they had noticed him.  Sometimes they said things like, “Do I know you? You look so familiar…”  The fact of his having been an unobtrusive presence in the background of their local grocery or coffee bar had resulted in a sort of false sense of familiarity, of which his targets were not consciously unaware.  In his efforts to learn master his craft with minimal mistake or misadventure, he had unintentionally perfected the art of being present just enough to be familiar, but not enough to be creepy.  The end payoff was that the women were often easier to lull into a false sense of security.  Their early warning systems, their “bad feelings,” had essentially been short-circuited.

Advertisements

The Senile Stalker Gets Scared Straight?

Could this be the end of the Senile Stalker Saga?  Today things came to a head- sort of.   I mean, I’m starting to think the only thing that will really end it is if one of us dies (preferably not me, as I’m kind of attached to myself.)

I went next door to visit my neighbor, as I often do.  Some of her family, also friends of mine, were over and I wanted to hang out a bit before they went back home.  I’d already been over there once for my morning coffee (no coffeemaker at the mo’,) but this time the Old Man was sitting on the love seat.

…and maybe it was too late for me to turn around;  I had momentum…or a brief leave of my common sense… and went into my neighbor’s apartment anyway.

And damned if the first thing he said to me wasn’t, “What did you tell your old man about me?”

He must have hit a nerve with me today…either that or my bullshit meter is red-lining, cuz I snapped back something like, “R****, I am not in the mood for your bullshit today.”

But the few things I said to him today in response to his passive-aggressive routine, he acted like he didn’t hear.  I told him Hubs was mad and asked him what he expected.  He said he didn’t expect anything.  Deliberate obtuseness.  Great.

About that time Marie’s sister-in-law called to me from the bedroom.  Saved by the bell.  She knows how I feel about the Old Geezer.  About that time, her little girl, who had been taking an extra long time in the bathroom, slipped into the room, also trying to evade the Old Man.  I offered them safe haven in my apartment until the Old Man left and I went back to my apartment, and the little girl came over shortly after.  She said that R**** had told them all he didn’t like that I told my husband everything he says to me.

Hubby heard that and then he went outside to smoke…and apparently to go next door.

"Put 'em up!"

“Put ’em up!”

I guess he’d hit his bullshit quota for the year too.  He told the Old Man not to ever talk to him, me, or the baby again, that he didn’t want to see his face again.   And all the Old Man said was “Okay.”  I wonder if he pissed himself a little.

That still didn’t stop him from asking my friend and her little girl if we were over here talking about him at my place, and what all we said.  But I doubt he’ll be speaking to me anytime soon.  He gets all indignant and pissy when you’ve had enough of his shit and you tell him off.  Then he gets over it.  But hopefully he’s smart enough to know better.  If he starts coming around us again, I have a feeling the cops will be called…hopefully before Hubs stomps him into Old Man compost.

 

The Senile Stalker Strikes Again!

So, just recently I regaled you all with tales of my senile stalker.  Strangely enough, a small (eensy, weensy, teeny) part of me feels a little bad for talking smack about him on my blog and with my neighbor and whatnot.

And then he goes and pulls some shit like he did tonight and I practically can’t help myself from venting  writing about it.

As I may have mentioned before in my other article, he got basically told off by the maintenance man for bothering the ladies around the apartment complex and just generally being a creeper.  Following that incident, there was a small period of reprieve where he was pissed at me I guess because he assumed I had set the Maintenance man on him (which would indicate that despite his dementia, he is at least marginally aware that I’m getting tired of his bullshit.)

Who knows?  Whatever.  Anyway, in that time period, the only person he felt at ease bothering was my middle aged neighbor (we’ll call her Marie, for anonymity’s sake.)  He’s been “setting up camp” there more and more, asking telling her when he needs her to drive him places (he’s a menace behind the wheel,) and “hanging out” in her living room, waiting for me to show up to visit her or bum a cigarette.  I avoid visiting her when I know he’s there, or else I’m in and out as quickly as possible, usually sachaying sideways out the door so he can’t stare at my ass.

Earlier today Marie gave me a small bag of flat breads she had gotten at the store, as she had gotten two and would not be able to use both before they were outdated.  So this evening, I tried out an idea I had for basically turning them into giant cinnamon toast rounds.  As I often do when I cook a new dish, I took some over to her.

The old man was sitting in his usual spot in the love sofa.  I went in with the plate of food and asked her for a smoke.   She was out of her store-bought cigs but offered to roll us some.  I didn’t feel like waiting and being under the Old Fart’s scrutiny the whole time, while he lamely attempted to engage me in conversation.  So I handed Marie the plate and said, “I just wanted to bring you this,” and I left.  She knows I avoid being around him, so I know she isn’t insulted and usually understands when I need to cut short a visit or make a quick getaway.

As I walked back in my apartment, hubs was getting ready to go out to smoke.  It was still nice out so I put the baby’s shoes on and took her outside too.

Not five minutes later, Marie came out the door with her smokes in hand.  At first I just assumed she had heard us outside and came out to talk and give me a smoke because I had left her apartment without one.

She proceeded to tell me that when she went into the kitchen to get her tobacco to roll the smokes, the Old Man picks up the half a cinnamon flat bread on the plate that I had given her and proceeds to help himself to two bites.

She said after that she just walked out the front door, and she tells me all of this, I realize she’s really pissed off, so pissed off in fact, that tears are standing in her eyes…which of course pisses me off even more.  She just didn’t even know what to say to him.  She was pissed, but also feels badly for him because he is old and sick, so she’s probably more tolerant of him than she should be, considering that in his twisted mind, tolerance is almost like tacit permission.  This is a man who seems to think that me returning a wave to him to be polite is indicative of the fact that we might have a romantic future.

I mentioned (more to make her feel better than anything) that she should just cut off the part he ate and the rest would be fine, and she said “He picked it up with both hands.”  Now depending on how germ phobic you are, this may or may not seem like a huge deal… unless you’ve seen him carrying around his ratty, crumpled tissue and repeatedly dabbing at his nose, or worse, seen him sitting in Marie’s apartment mining for nose gold and flicking his findings out into the air.

I even offered to go into her apartment and “take care” of the situation for her and get rid of his rude, imposing ass.  Believe me, I would have let him have it.  But I think maybe he actually had his hearing aid in tonight and heard the three of us outside talking shit, because he came outside a few minutes later…  but not before helping himself to some of the cornbread that was in her kitchen.

~Sigh~  I told her that she can’t keep letting him get away with that behavior.  In fact, I think sometimes he does certain things to see just how much he can get away with.  I understand he’s ill, and maybe not playing with a full deck, but there comes a time to draw the line.   How long do we allow his behavior to make us uncomfortable because “he’s sick?”

One thing is for certain; my tolerance for his passive-aggressive tendencies, his manipulations, his advances, and his bad manners are about down to zilch now.

My Senile Stalker

I’ve had a few stalkers in my time.  I don’t know if this speaks so much to my staggering sex appeal as to my penchant for attracting sad losers.   Some of my stalkers have been pretty harmless, their attentions even a bit of an ego boost.  And some have been kinda scary.   Indulge me if you will and allow me to refer to a popular meme that just won’t die in order to present you with an accurate portrayal of my latest stalker:

Who he thinks he is…

What he really looks like…

Yes, that’s right.  As the title of this blog indicates, I have acquired a geriatric stalker.  Now, I’m not the only young woman he’s been pestering–and he only likes them young, proudly declaring that he prefers women in their 30’s and “doesn’t like fat women,” as if he has all the God-given choice in the world.  He seems to be laboring under the misconception that he is still attractive to women of this (or any) age group… because, people, he is 80 years old and has Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.  Part of the reason he can get away with this embarrassing display is because there are a few women around this town and the surrounding areas (many of them from the same family) that have discovered in him a senile and crippled cash cow.  They take his money, they use his car (oh well, he’s lost his license now anyway, though for a while there he was in denial. ) It would be sad if it wasn’t so pathetic.  He knows they’re using him but chooses to delude himself about their true intentions.

He lives in my apartment complex, and I am apparently not the only young woman this old geezer suckered into believing he was a “harmless, lonely” old man.  We made the mistake of talking to him or being nice to him, or even doing him favors (I stopped at the store at 9 o’clock at night on my way home from volleyball to pick up two bags of potato chips for this fucker, mostly because I couldn’t think of a nice way to decline!)   I now get a clear impression that perhaps at one time in his life he was very used to having women do things for him.  Well, I decided that night, not ME, never again.

His pestering got so bad that some of the women were complaining to the maintenance man (who incidentally shares a relatively uncommon first name with said old geezer, a fact which has almost lost him his job…twice.)

Now you might ask yourself why a woman would not just tell this old bird to bugger off… Let me tell you.   Because I did it.  Probably about four different times.  One day, while I attempted in vain to go about my day, he came over and knocked on my door a total of nine timesfor various reasons, ranging from bringing me food to just “seeing what’s up.” At first I attempted to be nice, telling him I had a little one to look after and stuff I had to get done.   And that worked for about…a day.  He came and knocked the next day or so and I politely “reminded” him.  On one such occasion his distractions resulted in my kid locking me outside.

Finally, when it kept happening and I tried to ignore him, I got pissed.  Why should I have to hide behind closed shades and pretend not to hear him?  I had to get “firm.”  I told him that I had repeatedly asked him to stop knocking on my door when my husband was not at home (yes, he definitely knows I’m married!) and the fact that he was ignoring me was starting to piss me off.  That is pretty much verbatim what I said.  Still if I saw him outside, I’d wave to be polite.  Wrong move again.  A day or two later, he came up when me and the baby were playing outside and proceeded to say “You really know how to hurt a guy…” and then said to my two year old “Mommy is mean.”   Bad move on his part, talking shit to my kid!  I told him him needed to cut that shit right out.

The maintenance guy finally got fed up with the complaints and problems with his job (aside from the trouble the mix-up with their names caused, old man would follow him around and try to “help” him with his work) and Maintenance Man told him if he didn’t stop bothering the female folk, he’d “call the law.”

See, not only does Old Man pester me, trying to get me to do him favors and keep him company, making not-subtle passes at me repeatedly, regardless of me never having expressed interest, but every time I would go outside, he’d pop into his doorway like jack from his box and just stare.  He does the same thing if he happens to pass by my window, unabashedly staring into my front window as he walks by.

I have another neighbor in her fifties who the old man has taken to bothering for company.  She’s a friend of mine, and so I hear a lot of what he says when I am not around.  He’s taken to planting his wobbly old ass on her couch (he has a terrible time getting up again,) and actually waiting for me to go next door to visit her, just so he can gawk at me.  He still swears that if I didn’t have my child, he could “get me over” his place, though by now I barely even look at him  when he’s around if I can help it.  He still makes lascivious remarks about me to my neighbor, calling me “cutie pie” and looking at my ass every chance he gets. We’ve had a few exchanges where he attempts to gain pity from me by shaming me with that tired old passive-aggressive bullshit about how he’s “like a red-headed, freckle-faced” step-child around here.  I told him point blank that he brought it on himself.

And I just found out he takes Viagra, daily, just to “be ready,” should he perchance find some hapless, legally blind, mentally deficient woman actually willing to have sex with him.

You may be tempted to feel pity for him, or say I am callous and not understanding of his infirmities or his loneliness.  I assure you, the time for that is over.  I’m not even certain I want him around my kid anymore.  How long would he be content to just “watch” from afar? I even looked for him on our county’s sex offender registry.  Even my neighbor has reason to believe now that he may not be as harmless as he seems.  The stress he caused me by his unwanted attentions, his constant intrusions into my day, was just stupid.  No one rents space in my head that way if I have anything to say about it.  And I realize as I type this that even though it may seem funny at times (and this post actually was meant to be at least semi-amusing), this could possibly be a real problem.  Frankly, the sight of his stupid sheep’s face actually pisses me off most times now.  (Sheep actually aren’t stupid at all, by the way.)  And yet, there is still a small (tiny, minuscule  growing smaller by the day) part of me that can’t be rude enough or mean enough to tell him “Just don’t ever talk to me again, at all…ever.  Never.”  Would it work if I did?

I can’t avoid him totally, although for the nonce, my neighbor has elected to ignore his knocking, wary of him and tired of watching him sit and pick his nose, I suppose.  And I doubt the cops could do much with him, his age and infirmity being on his side.  My husband is getting pissed, not because he feels threatened, but because of the irritation that Old Man causes me and the fact that he just won’t take “no” for an answer.  But I don’t need hubs going to jail for kicking an old man’s ass.  Hell, I could take him on my own, but why should I have to?  And more importantly, what about potential “targets” for his attentions not as able to defend themselves?

Old Man himself said the other day, in regards to his attempts to elicit a favorable response from me, “I keep trying but I get no response,”

to which my neighbor replied, “That’s when you’re supposed to stop!”