Notes from a Walkman Junkie: The Creep Whisperer
I ran across a nice clip of Radiohead performing ‘Creep’ live a few days ago and was inspired to make creeps, specifically bat-shit crazy ones, my next topic of discussion. There has not been a great deal of consistency throughout my life apart from my unfaltering foothold in mediocrity and the unwavering pull that those of the crazy-creepo variety feel towards me. It is comparable to the persistent harassment that cats dole out to those of us who dislike and/or are desperately allergic to them. My wacko magnetism seems to be mostly genetic as it is shared by all members of my family and reaches superhero strength levels when more than one of us is present and within a ten mile radius of a loony.
My mother had a very unfortunate incident at a fair, other than the generally presumed misfortunes always to be expected in the ordeal of fair participation. My mom was preparing to ride in a horse show that was being held on the fairgrounds. She decided it would be a wise decision to take a quick restroom break before the class began. A fellow fair-goer, who also happened to be a world class nutter, had set his sights on my mother and had as a result been following her around all day. He observed her en route to a portable rest room nearby and decided this was the perfect opportunity to proclaim his undying love to the woman whom he had been admiring from afar for several stalker-tastic hours. The wide-eyed man approached my mother and nonchalantly began to profess his adoration for her and plan their fated wedding. My mother politely refused his advances and entered the portable facilities. This was proven to be a hapless choice on her part. Once she was inside, her tenaciously unrelenting suitor began to vigorously shake the porta-potty while shouting, “Hold on honey, this is the best ride at the fair!” Clearly, this man had issues and had never ridden the Pirate Ship. Now that is a damn good ride.
My own creep allure has been an invariable constant in my life. I can always readily spot the crazed, and without exception can count on some unwanted interaction. I have grown accustomed to these encounters generally being on the blithe side, like the time that a man of the sanity-deprived persuasion was seated in a booth behind me in a restaurant. I could feel his gaze on the back of my head with a fixed concentration specifically unique to my creepy following. He tapped my shoulder and inquired, “Can I ask you a personal question?” I started to say something like, ”No, I’d rather you not.” but was interrupted by him asking, “Do you wear glasses?” He then continued to tap me every few minutes and ask me what time it was for the rest of my dining experience.
While on vacation in Sicily there seemed to be a steady stream of the random ‘strange ones’ approaching me with odd requests and demands. I was walking along a street when a woman grabbed me, and from what I could tell through her Sicilian dialect and wild gestures, wanted me to take her bag and look at her shoes. My Sicilian boyfriend who was accompanying me said something quickly to the woman and pulled me away. He then let me know as we walked away, “She wanted you to do something weird with her shoes.” I am also repeatedly approached in parking lots and stores by the ‘touched’ who wish to debate all important things such as why I never wear their favorite jacket anymore and do I train monkeys or wear glasses (that question comes up a lot). There is also what I refer to as ‘freaky Thursday’ at the gallery where I work. It appears to be the day of the week that the ‘special’ people visit in droves wanting to have endless discourse concerning fancy lace pantaloons and tiny pancakes. But those are mere fleeting convergences; the real meat to my nut-job drawing power is in my persistent creeps… and I’m talking years. A man whom I taught with years ago conjured up an entire hallucinatory romantic relationship between us based on the single event of me saying, “hi” to him in the hallway… once.
The real cake-topper, however, is Crippleman. I realize how awful that sounds, but bear with me. This is a man who, yes, happens to be crippled and uses a walking apparatus for assistance. He also happens to be a pervy loon-ball who has frequented the same gym as me for years and consequently has marked me as his target of vexation. The creep factor started subtly and was virtually undetectable to the average non-creep wrangler, but I spotted the glimmer of nut cake from his first, “Have a nice workout.” spoken to me in a leering manner as I entered the gym one morning. From that point on, Crippleman made a point to single me out and say something to me with a Tourette’s syndrome-like compulsion every time he saw me.
Though I could see his craziness lurking just below the surface, I was polite and would respond to his quips with cordial short responses. I was uneasy but somewhat OK with this arrangement until the ill-fated happening of the fall. Crippleman was leaving the gym as I was walking in when he lost his balance and fell. Naturally, I offered to help him up as did two other gym patrons who had witnessed the accident. He declined the help from the others present, instead turning to me and saying, “I want HER to help me up.” He then proceeded to grab my arm along with some other unmentionable choice body parts while pulling himself up. I won’t divulge all the hideous details, but I will say there was a series of ‘bad touches’ involved and leave it at that.
The creepy Crippleman still makes a point to say something to me every time we cross paths, which at this point is often unless I practice my clever tactic of evasion (hiding in the locker room for twenty minutes). I no longer ever verbally respond to him, and as it is with the crazy, this has only intensified his passing chatter in my direction. Basically now I just look like some asshole who won’t speak to the nice crippled man.
To sum it up, this whole creepy-nut ball lure is a giant drag, which incidentally is the name of a pretty great little band. I have attached a clip of them performing a cover of Wicked Game because, and allow me to paraphrase, women love Chris Issaks’ Wicked Game …almost as much as they love men in kilts.