I was walking in my neighborhood, running some errands as I routinely do every weekend, when I heard some asshole of a child yell, “AAAHHHHH! It’s so scary!” and whipped around to see him pointing my direction.
I opened my mouth, ready to verbally berate him for being a little shit and for referring to me as an “it.” I’m not always pulled together, but it certainly didn’t warrant that level of rudeness. It’s not like I’m some sort of unidentifiable swamp creature dragging my body through the streets.
That’s when he ran past me and pointed at a sign hanging from the lamppost behind me advertising some sort of ghoulish/grim reaper face for some sort of Seattle happening.
I sighed in relief, thanking my lucky stars that I didn’t just verbally throw down a ten year old for the wrong reasons. It was one of those times I hadn’t showered in two days because I’d been so busy trying not to drop any balls in the multiple job juggle, and I was starting to feel self-conscious, as I’m normally more presentable in public.
I found it particularly off-putting as well that earlier in the day a homeless man stopped in his tracks, saluted me, and said, “Hello Gorgeous!” and then continued on his way.
I immediately looked down to see if I was sporting any sort of military-esque trend that I’d forgotten about in my tired stupor, but was not. My next thought was that he must not have been close enough to smell me, or must have been making fun of me in some way as I was clearly not at my best.
But I figured maybe there was something in the pheromones I was exuding from not showering.
One time, when I was feeling particularly gross, a man at Subway flirted with me the whole way through the construction of my sandwich and then gave me a free cookie. I thought he must be insane, but figured he must have sensed the way to my heart is through free food, and accepted it for what it was.
So once I had gotten the salute I figured, maybe I appeared better than I felt.
Until that kid was screaming bloody murder and naturally assumed it was at me.
But I shook it off and walked into the drugstore to buy the necessities before I jetted off for my second job the next day.
I don’t really think of what I’m buying and how it looks weird until I get to the counter.
So when I purchased bleach and a thank you card, the man who is normally super chipper and nice wouldn’t make eye contact with me and nearly ran from behind the counter after the transaction.
I looked down as I shoved a gallon of bleach in my bag and tucked the card away wondering what he was thinking. Was I giving off a murdery vibe?
Was I cleaning up the aftermath and then leaving a thank you card behind as some sort of creepy ransom note? I mean if I bought a magazine, some scissors, and some glue as well I would understand his concern.
I figured he should be more concerned if it was a congratulations or a thinking of you card—that would clearly scream serial killer a little bit more than what I was currently doing.
Or maybe it was just my creepy vibes I was giving off that day—they attracted some people and terrified others.
I figured Ted Bundy was known as being a charming guy out in public, so maybe I’d take it as a compliment.
Any given day in Seattle has some sort of commentary from a stranger–usually someone homeless and/or not all there who I only assume is drawn to me because of my new affinity for my self described “old man chic” look and buying way too many oversized sweaters.
So when I went to hear David Sedaris speak and was nerding out to my prime as he’s one of my favorite authors I told myself to be cool. Something that I’m inherently not, but I just needed to calm down since I ended up being the first one in line to get my book signed before the show.
He sat down, looked at me, and said, “I remember you. You were at my show last year weren’t you?”
I died and melted into a puddle of myself in that moment, muttering yes, and wondering if our last neurotic conversation about people invading my bubble of comfort was really something he remembered or if he was just being nice.
I didn’t care. If ever there was a time for a man to lie to me, this was it.
He signed my book, addressing me as an “enchantress,” and I knew I wouldn’t have a better night than this for a long time.
I wanted to blurt out, “Please be my best friend!” but I knew that would be crossing deeply into the creepy stalker realm so took a breath and tried to keep my composure until I walked away.
If David Sedaris remembered me, I figured whatever vibes I was giving off were working for me and I just needed to own it.
So when I went to the grocery a few days back and gave a man outside some money, he yelled, “I love your energy.”
I just smiled and thought, good or bad, I get that a lot.