[Caution: this post might not be hazardous to your health but it might ruin appetite, please be advised.]
I don’t know why this is, but without fail, I ALWAYS attract the weirdest people EVER.
Like right now.
My kids are on Christmas vacation and I needed a little peace from the, “Mom, he’s touching me.” “Mom, he’s looking at me.” “Mom, he picked his nose.” “Mom—” “Mom—” Mom—”
Don’t get me wrong, I love my children and I spend a lot of time with my kids. But sometimes, like today, I needed a bit of a break. So I drove into the city, and went to the mall to go write in the food court.
Then the crazy man came.
So here I am, typing away, trying to give Sir Wallace and Edwina Banks a happily-ever-after when this sloppily dressed, scruffy-lookin’ guy I can smell coming fifteen feet away comes and sits down at the table beside me. My first thought: WHY ME???
There are literally hundreds of empty tables, and a good fifteen or so by outlets. So why did he have to pick the table next to mine?
I scoot my chair over a bit and move my purse and coat so he can “plug in”. Then it begins. He wants to talk.
Waving his stickered-up cellphone in my face, he proceeds to tell me that he can’t go anywhere with it, even to attend personal business, because he might get a call about doing something for the weekend and he’d hate to be left out.
All right then. This isn’t anything I really need to know. I just nod.
Then he starts setting up his laptop with a corded mouse and an external CD drive. I am dead serious.
As he’s getting his cords untangled, he tells me that he learned the hard way yesterday there is a six-hour time limit to use the Internet. I’m not sure why this is a shock since it’s written on the information card on the tables and on the sign-in screen it’s written in big, bold letters. (Not to mention, once you sign on, there is a little clock that pops up on the screen and counts your time down.) But nonetheless he was quite shocked when he got booted.
Furthermore, much to his dismay, during those six hours, he was unable to download pirated music, TV shows and movies as fast as he could at the library. I was flabbergasted. Some of you may not know this about me, but I am very vocal when it comes to pirating. It’s stealing and it’s wrong.
Then, with the next breath, he shakes his head and goes, “I don’t know about that guy.”
Reluctantly, I look in the direction he’s pointing to this old man who can’t be a day under seventy.
“Yesterday, he was here, dressed in a suit and I saw him stealing a bulb off the Christmas tree.”
He nods. “Yes. He pulled it off the tree, then took it to his table and inspected the design on it for an hour or so. I don’t know what he did with it after that, though.”
Seriously? He’s going to condemn a senile old man for plucking a 50-cent bulb from the Christmas tree and inspecting it, yet he illegally downloads media? Only once in my life have I ever been so stunned: when someone wrote me an e-mail wanting to discuss at length my 1-star reviews.
At this point, I consider moving. But wouldn’t that look too obvious? If I get up and just move across the room, he’ll know I’m just trying to avoid him. I better stay put.
So with a whispered prayer that he’ll leave me alone, I turn my attention to my work:
Edwina released the counterpane—
“Wow, you sure are a fast typer.”
“Mmmhmmm.” Click, click, click.
—”Go ahead,” Wallace said softly. His face was pale and his eyes looked distant—cold even. He lowered the counterpane and brought it to rest about his waist, exposing his broad, hair-coverd chest—
“I learned to type when I was a kid. But I’m not quite as fast as you are. They say it’s impossible for men’s fingers to move as fast as women’s.”
My fingers stop moving. If he says one more thing, I will not be responsible for what I do, even if that means I move my flying fingers to wrap around his throat.
“Oh, looks like we shouldn’t eat at Chick-Fil-A. Those kids are touching the counter.”
I don’t even turn to look. That might encourage him.
But it didn’t matter. He just had to tell me the story.
“All four of those boys were in the bathroom a few minutes ago while I was in there, and I didn’t hear the water at the sink turn on one time while I was using the toilet.”
I think I just lost my appetite and it has nothing to do with those kids not washing their hands. I do not care who you are, but discussing your bathroom habits with a stranger in the food court at the mall is too much.
Focus, Rose. Just ignore this man and get some words on the page. Maybe if he sees you’re busy, he’ll just go about playing War Craft or whatever it is he brought to play.
Good plan. Except one thing. After hearing about this man’s…er…answering the call of nature, there is no way I can continue with such a scene. Good thing I have an unfinished drawing room scene at the beginning of the book. Now is the perfect time to work on that.
I scroll through the document and find the spot I’m looking for. Perfect.
Hmmm, what more could they say to each other? Maybe—
“I’ll be right back. Can you make sure nobody steals my computer?”
“Sure.” If it means a break from you, I’ll babysit it all day long. “Take your time.”
Five minutes and about 200 words later, the man hobbles back over from the direction of the bathroom and announces, “Whew, I feel so much better now.”
Needless to say, I moved.
I once had a friend tell me I am like a magnet–the positive end, because I seem to have a knack for attracting some of the most bizarre individuals by doing nothing other than just “being”.
Anyone else have this sort of a personality trait or attract a certain type of person, animal, or situation and wish to share, please do.