So I’ve been taking a break…Working in the office, doing some home improvement stuff…I’ve also been reading. One of the books I’ve been reading is The Mars Room by Rachel Kushner. I plan to post about it when I get back to blogging–Lord willing. It’s really good. It’s about a young woman–a stripper, actually– who encounters a stalker.

Now this is going to sound veryΒ dramatic, especially in light of The Mars Room and a previous post I wrote about strippers, I realize that. Nonetheless I’m going to give you the rundown because it’s creepy and…well, just in case…

Yesterday, I went to the greenway to walk. I’m cautious, especially when I go by myself. No big deal. I’m cognizant of my surroundings–that kind of stuff.

So, I pull into a parking space and I notice that there’s a car that is backed into the parking spot, not unusual, per say, but it was the only car parked like that–a black 4-door BMW–and there’s a guy sitting in it. I get out of my vehicle and walk to the trashcan to throw away a coke can and the guy gets out of the BMW and heads for the greenway. He walks right by me and the way he’s dressed, cargo pants and casual shirt, is not typical greenway attire. I’m just sayin’. But he is wearing running shoes.

I stop there at the trashcan and watch him as he walks down the greenway. I make no bones about it. I’m watching him—and right before he disappears from my view, he looks over his shoulder at me. He’s an ordinary looking guy–about 6 ft. tall, dark hair that’s graying, normal weight, probably late thirties, early forties. He’s talking on his cell phone.

I decide not to walk on the greenway. I go someplace else to exercise. And that’s that.

Okay…So later, after I go back home, do a bunch of bookwork, make lunch, do some reading (yes, The Mars Room) I remember that my husband asked me to pick up some lottery tickets for tonight’s drawing. (Yeah, we’re playing Mega Millions with Megaplier. It’s up to about 2 billion dollars now so we just had to get in on it.) I needed to pick up some dog food so I decide to purchase the lottery tickets at the grocery store.

Anyway, I go to the store and get the dog food and some other stuff but you can’t purchase the lottery tickets from the check out line, you have to go to the manager’s desk, so that’s what I do. There’s nobody there.

“I’ll be right with you ma’am,” the manager calls to me. He’s sacking groceries for a cashier.

“No problem,” I say, “I’m not in any hurry.”

So I lean against the desk and I’m just thinking…about stuff I’ve got to do…about that mountain of bookwork…about how there’s no chance in hell that we’re going to win 2 billion dollars in Mega Million with Megaplier…and I turn around to see if the manager’s still sacking groceries…and that guy, the one at the greenway with the cargo pants, is standing right behind me. I’m not kidding. He’s just standing there, with this blank look on his face.

Well, of course, it startles me, but I play it off. I just shake my head and chuckle–and that’s an authentic reaction. I mean, who would think it…And if this guy is a weirdo…well, what he doesn’t know could hurt him…

And I want him to know that.