I'm at a fast food restaurant with Nick and Gerry. They had just finished eating, and I am horsing around with them. While I am normally quiet, when I'm with the boys, I can be quite vocal. I suppose some might find it a little irritating, but most people don't give off the body language that it is. And Gerry is such a charmer (think one of the Campbell's soup kids - I am not kidding), that even if most people think I'm annoying, he'll more than make up for it.
So here we are at our table, me playing toy cars with the boys, and this young lady about 20 or so is just giving me this icy cold stare. I ignore it at first, but it's obvious that this withering stare is directed at me.
"SHUT UP! You're not fooling anyone pretending you love your kids. You hate them, so just shut the fuck up about liking them..." she begins in this annoyed monotone.
"Uhhhh...." is all I can say back, looking around to see if I'm actually doing something wrong.
And then she turns to the guy sitting on the other side of her, one of the employees either on break or finished his shift, sipping pop and reading a comic book, completely brightens up and says in a bubbly tone "That's a cool comic book, what is that?"
"It's Manga, have a look." He shows her the cover. "That looks so cool!" she grins ear to ear.
Okay, whatever. I go back to playing with the kids. A minute later, I look up and she's droning on again...
"Just shut the fuck up already. Your kids aren't special. Your kids ain't nothing. Just shut up already..."
"Ok boys, let's get out of here..." The comic book kid looks as bewildered as I do.
Later on, I leave the boys with my neighbours Gina and Carly for a couple of hours while I do some Christmas shopping. I've got to make a pit stop so I head to the bathroom. There are three urinals. I take the one closest to the wall. I am just beginning when this guy walks in, parks right up to the urinal next to mine, breaking major protocol in male urinal etiquette by not giving me a one-urinal buffer. Okay, a breach of etiquette, but not the end of the...
"Pussy pussy pussy pussy pussy... oh God pussy pussy pussy pussy..."
Really? Jesus Christ. I cannot pee now. Against better judgment I glance over. This guy looks like a disheveled Santa Claus with a hunting cap on. He is looking down and whispering "pussy" over and over again to his penis (I presume anyway). He isn't looking or speaking at me at all.
But I still can't pee. And I really need to go. Two options. Ride this weirdo out or go to another bathroom.
I ride it out. I wish I hadn't. He took forever. And the whole while this is all I hear:
"Pussy pussy pussy pussy pussy pussy pussy pussy pussy pussy pussy pussy pussy pussy pussy pussy pussy..."
Tonight now, the boys are back with their mom and I'm on my way home from watching a movie at my sister's place. I'm on the bus, sitting in a seat by myself, when this guy sits beside me. Fine. But he practically crushes me against the side of the bus. I look over. He's not a big guy, so it's not size that's crushing me. He's just aggressively trying to take over the seat. I expand myself and boundary my personal space. Thinking it's the end of...
Right in my ear. I look over and he's staring straight ahead. I turn back, but out of the corner of my eye, I see him turn his head and put his face close to my ear:
That startled me. "JESUS CHRIST!" I look over at him.
This guy appears normal. Black, mid-30s, glasses, ballcap, casually, but nicely dressed.
But his eyes. His eyes were scary.
"Jesus?" he looks at me with batshit crazy eyes. "What about Jesus?"
"I'm sorry, but do you have a problem?"
\"I don't have a problem." Stare. "You do though." Stare.
"What the hell are you doing coughing in my ear like that? You scared the hell out of me!"
Stare. "Why? Are you some kind of paranoid freak? You want to make me stop?" Stare.
I'm not easily intimidated, but that stare was just something else.
"Don't worry about this guy... he's been acting like a dick since he got on." A guy sitting behind us piped in. Batshit crazy turned around to pull his cold-blooded shit routine on him, but this guy was like 6'4". Batshit Crazy wasn't stupid.
"Let me up. I'm not in the mood for this shit." I got up, shuffled past him and sat somewhere else for the rest of the trip. Several others got up and found other seats. He tried to start something with someone else, but the guy just got off the bus. I got off a few stops later.
That was unnerving, but not as unnerving as what happened in a grocery store a couple of years ago. It's busy, around Christmas, and the aisles are pretty full. I'm shopping and this older lady approaches me. "Hi there!" she says in a tone that's way too friendly.
I could tell almost instantly she had some form of dementia. I nod and am about to go on my way, when she grabs my wrist gently.
"I just wanted to tell you you are a handsome young man, and you are going to die. You are going to die and maggots will eat your burning soul in hell, Wanderer. Goodbye now, dear."
I stopped dead in my tracks. My hands were trembling. There were other people in the aisle that heard that exchange and they were freaked out. Normally, I'd compose myself, laugh it off and carry on.
Except she called me by name. My real name.
I'd never met her before in my life. When I told the woman who was closest to us, she crossed herself and told me to immediately pray for guidance. I waved her off, told her I'd be fine. And normally, I'm a pretty level-headed guy, but that freaked me out for quite a while.
Anyway, I hope the crazy train has pulled away for a while.