I promised you guys I would try to make more posts about my life outside all this weird shit, and today, I have the perfect news to tell you in that regard.
Because today, dear readers, I lied. Yes, that's right. I used my superior acting skills to lie right out of my ass. Before you get preachy, hear me out -- this story is way too good for me to even try to make up.
Early this afternoon, after picking up my paycheck from work, I stopped in at Barnes & Noble (I go there often, mostly because they know me there and there's a Starbucks attached to it -- whoever realized the magnificent connection between books and coffee deserves a medal). Their sci-fi/fantasy section, where I spent most of my time, is right next to the magazines, and I had just sat down on one of the benches there to flip through a bit of the next Ursula LeGuin I had on my list when I suddenly felt that very distinctive feeling of the muscles behind my ears tensing. I've always thought that that was the animal in a person, trying to prick its ears up, although typically, I simply refer to it as "that creepy feeling you feel when you know you're being creeped on."
For one terrifying moment, I thought it was -- you know -- him. But when I looked up, I discovered something less scary, but with the potential to be much creepier.
He was tall and broad, and from the way he was standing, I knew that he had no business being in a bookstore, because this man was a hillbilly. Before you ask: no, I am not shitting you. We're close enough to the Appalachians here to have a few of our very own cowboy-hat-wearing, banjo-playing, huge-belt-buckle-having, stereotype-defining hyuh-hyuh-hyillbillies.
And this one was standing about four feet away from me, eyeing me very intently.
I waited a full three seconds of silence before I said, "Yes?"
He looked rather startled. "Excuse me, ma'am," he said.
There were three things wrong with that sentence. One: "Excuse me" is something you say to someone who hasn't noticed you yet. Two: I'm not a "ma'am," I'm a "miss." And third, I detected that he had a certain subtle twang that one could only ever achieve this far north by having a country music IV since birth.
"I was just wonderin' if maybe I could get your phone number," he asked, quite shyly, as I stifled my horror.
"I'm very flattered," I said, using my usual sweet decline, "but I just don't think so."
"Well, why not?" he said.
This comment began an exchange that lasted about five minutes wherein I discovered that the creepily persistent guy is not just a myth after all. The more I politely tried to get him to get the hell away from me, the less polite he became. He went from "It's just a cup of coffee" to "It's just drinks" to "It's just lunch" to "It's just a movie" to "It's just dinner." He used all fucking five, as though I'd accept one where I'd declined the other. What was my thought process supposed to be there? "Well, I wouldn't get drinks with you, but in a movie I don't have to see your face, so yeah, I guess so?"
In situations like these, I typically go with one of two solutions: either I have a boyfriend (I don't), or I'm a lesbian (I'm not). Today, I didn't really look like a lesbian (and with hillbillies, you kind of have to look the part, as they're not reknowned as an especially quick bunch), so I went with the former.
"I'm sure you're a really nice guy," I said, "but I just don't know how my boyfriend would feel about that."
"Well, why didn't you mention this boyfriend before?" he asked.
"You didn't ask."
He looked at me in contemplation for a moment. "You know, darlin', I'm not quite sure I believe you. What's this boyfriend's name?"
Oh, hell. Oh, hell. It took everything I had not to panic.
What I pulled off next was possibly the best, most comprehensive girl-lie I've ever achieved. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a display of H.P. Lovecraft works. My brain went from Lovecraft to Miskatonic U immediately, and besides that really old professor who led me through their open house that one time last year, the only person I've heard of lately that goes to Miskatonic is --
"His name is Dav. Dav Flamerock," I said. "He goes to school up in Massachusetts. It's kind of a long-distance thing, but we make it work." At the end here I shrugged a shoulder and smiled, the perfect picture of a girl completely in love with her (falsified and nonexistent) man.
"You know, I think you may be just humorin' me," he said.
I decided to take even more risk than I already did. Go big or go home with Cowboy Creeper under a tarp in his four-by-four, right? So I pulled out my phone.
"I could call him if you want me to. I don't think he has a class right now, so he's probably free to answer his phone," I said, flipping my phone open.
Now, I've never spoken to Dav Flamerock in my life, although I hear he was a great help in the Selby-Renault case. Obviously, I don't have his phone number just chilling in my contacts list. So I went with the next best thing -- I made the sentence above as long and rambling as I could to give myself time to change the name of my best gay friend Sebastien to "Dav," and hoped like hell that Seb could understand whatever cryptic code I could come up with for "I'm being creeped on! Help me!"
Luckily, it was at this point that Cowboy Creeper decided to back down. "No, no, that's all right," he said, looking downtrod.
Then he said, "I just wanted to really try my hardest to get to know you, 'cause you're kind of a heavy-set, thicker woman, and I like that in a woman."
And I closed my book.
The thing about me which I'm actually not so bummed about is that when I'm just chilling around, I tend to favor the "that thing thingy" sort of Buffy-speak, but when I'm angry, I'm damned eloquent. I quite enjoy that about myself. It makes up for my stupid-looking, tiny hands.
And I said:
"Listen. I get the feeling that you weren't burdened with an overabundance of education, but I'll give you a little tip: the next time you want to get to know a 'heavy-set, thicker woman,' make sure you don't refer to her as heavy-set or thicker. Now go purchase whatever right-wing propaganda you came in here for, drive away in the beaten pickup truck that is invariably parked outside, and -- this most importantly -- get the hell out of my sci-fi/fantasy section!"
And he walked away! I don't think I've ever felt quite so awesome in my life. The green-haired chick behind me gave me a slow clap.
Sometimes, I'm really thankful that the drama department at school had constant practice with imrov. I really am.
Later, I told Seb, and he marvelled that I could talk my way out of it. In a weird twist, he also got creeped on today by a guy at a single's mixer who kept pestering him about "having some fun." Brr. I get that I'm not the most attractive of the female species, but come on. Why is it that the only guys who ever ask me out are creepers? Not that I need a boyfriend now, mind you -- in fact, it's kind of the last thing on my mind, what with all this shit going on -- but still, in general it's rather annoying.
In other news, I haven't seen Violet yet to get a video of both of us, but I think it's a good idea so I may do one of just me to hold over until I see her in the next week or two. For now, I'm thinking it's off to bed.