Am I weirdo magnet?
That is a question I ask myself constantly while living in NYC. Well actually, just not here but it seems pretty much everywhere I travel. I just don’t get it. They come out of the woodwork, out of the shadows, out of the dark corners of my mind to confront me in the strangest of ways. Now, I know that living in NYC it’s pretty much weirdo central. From what I have been told only a few spots rival it. Maine for one?
Just the other night it happened to me again. I had nothing much planned so I took my computer downtown to a nice coffee-house that stays open until midnight and offers free WiFi, along with a really tasty iced café mocha I must say. I was minding my own business doing some work on my resume and job hunt. Earbuds in and listening to my tunes. Every once in a while, I looked up and noticed the place was busy but not totally packed. There was a jumble of empty seats spread throughout. They are basically round tables for two. Of course, as with any coffee joint the tables near outlets are at a premium. WiFi hogs such as myself covet these. I noticed this one dude sitting alone at a table along the windows by one of these. He was not drinking or eating anything. Just sitting there. For an hour. Staring ahead into space. Like one of those creepers you see in a club at the edge of the dance floor holding a beer and leering at the girls dancing. Yes, that guy.
The one you hope does not approach you.
So, after a while, the place got a bit crowded and someone who needed the seat and outlet to plug-in asked him to move since he was not really a customer but just taking up space. At that point I was unaware of what was happening as I was deep in thought and focused on what I was doing. Out of all the people and all the empty seats available at each table guess which one he had to come over to? Yup! Of course, it was me. Always me.
I don’t get it. I mind my own business. I don’t bother anyone. I certainly don’t come across as a sheepish and weak individual. Some people have gone so far to say I can be a bit intimidating. Yet, these weirdos always seem to gravitate to my orbit. Like a piece of space junk pulled into my gravitational pull. It was one of those moments where I just wanted to be left alone for a bit to get some work done. My zone was broken as I looked up and found weirdo boy staring at me with a soulless look in his eye. Skinny dude, maybe 5’ 8” tall, with brown curly wavy hair, wearing a long dark brown oversized overcoat and jeans, and a thick accent that I couldn’t quite place. After a few seconds of looking at each other he stammered in a hushed tone – “Can I sit here?”
As I had to take out my earbuds to understand what he wanted I asked “excuse me”? Again, he asked if he could sit with me. Now, on the chair across my table was sitting my computer bag, notes, and my coat. I looked around and noticed the tables to the left and right of me both also had people sitting at them, men and women, but their extra chairs were empty. Yet, creepy guy had to zero in on me of all people. I was taken aback for a second but told him that I was expecting someone to join me and needed the seat. (yeah, I know it sounds like I was being a douche and lying but I really was expecting a friend who was on the way)
Here is where that icky creeper feeling kicks in. He leaned over and just stared at me. As if he could not calculate what I had just told him. Just silently looking at me. As if he wanted to use my skin to make a lampshade with. That kind of look. I told him again that a friend was on the way and needed the chair. I did this politely as who knew what he was hiding under that overcoat. Way too many bad things happening in public places lately. Heck, if I was going to be Dexter’s next anatomy project at least let me finish my iced mocha I paid for! Again, he muttered something undecipherable, then nodded at me and shuffled off. As I was placing my earbuds back in and went back to what I was doing I quickly glanced up and saw he plopped down at a table this young girl was sitting at. She looked mortified. I think he didn’t even ask her. He just took the seat. I kept an eye on them just in case I had to intervene on her behalf. After a few minutes, I looked over and he had disappeared.
My bad, no he didn’t. He was standing on the sidewalk staring through the window. Finally, he disappeared into the New York City night. Thank goodness.
My friend showed up right after that and I told her about by weirdo buddy. She told me that maybe he picked me because I have a friendly non-threatening look. Not some mean looking meathead look. Maybe he was bashful around women. Or, maybe he just liked me.
I went home after the place closed for the night and took a shower to get the feeling of creepster off me. Not before I locked all the doors, bolted close the windows, and looked under my bed and in all the closets. No way was I reenacting that scene from Psycho!