It’s a well known fact in certain circles that I am in possession of a Weirdo Magnet. I attract random human weirdness like a cow pie attracts flies. Something I have in common with the main character of my novel, Morgan Bailey.
Like most people, I collect certain things. I collect teacups, Christmas ornaments, books, ex-husbands and stalkers.
Oh, yes, my Weirdo Magnet is fully charged and working just fine. Let me give you an example.
This was probably about a year and a half ago, I was waiting at the bus stop after work with my nose in a book, as usual. I got on the bus and rode to my stop, as usual. I got off the bus and cut through the shopping centre on the way home, as usual. What was not usual was that I found myself suddenly with a walking companion. One who started chattering away at me with an accent so thick that I only understood about every fourth word.
He must have rambled on for a good fifteen minutes, of which I caught only a fraction. I would have thought my eyes glazing over would have shut him down, but no. The gist of his monologue was something to do with my appearance. I’m pretty sure he found it attractive. Though I’m not entirely sure since there was mention of “lots of other women”. He also repeated over and over that he didn’t know me. Obviously a genius of some renown.
It really got weird when he started telling me how he’d followed me on the freaking bus! That’s right, he lived in an entirely different area of the city (London is pretty substantial.), yet not only did he follow me onto the bus, he followed me OFF the bus. So he could talk to me.
Right. Because following a complete stranger around the city is so dead sexy.
We’d just spent 20 minutes on the same bus. There was even an empty space next to me, yet instead of approaching me on the bus where I might have felt safe, he pretty much stalked me through the shopping mall. He would probably have even followed me to my home (I got the feeling that was his intention.), but I refused to budge from the shopping centre. I may be in possession of a giant Weirdo Magnet, but I’m not stupid.
When he started rambling about meeting up, I knew I was in trouble. I got the distinct feeling this guy would not take “no” for an answer. Now I’m not one to use the fake boyfriend for an excuse to get away from a guy, but at that moment instinct was screaming VERY loudly. So, I lied. Sort of.
“I’m married!” I blurted out. It wasn’t exactly a lie. I’ve collected more than one husband in my time. Unfortunately, he wasn’t phased. He just started mumbling something about “divorce” and “separation”. I think he wanted wait listed or something. There was also frequent mention of him living in another part of town. Apparently, this makes it OK to cheat on imaginary husbands.
I assured him my husband would not appreciate me meeting with him in any capacity. Thanked him nicely, told him I was flattered, but made it very clear that… HELL NO!!!!!!!!!
He was angry. That much was obvious. Fortunately I’d had the brains to stay inside the mall very close to where all the security guards hang out.
I still double checked several times on my way home to make sure I wasn’t followed.
Just a suggestion. If you think a girl is hot and want to ask her out, stalking her may not be the best idea. It ain’t sexy. Actually, it’s kinda creepy.
Of course, my Giant Weirdo Magnet makes for some good stories. In fact, stories of the weirdos met during my attempt at online dating inspired one of my favorite scenes in Kissed by Darkness: Morgan’s blind date. I had a lot of fun writing the scene and it was really quite cathartic.
Chaucer was right; payback in fiction is so much fun.