So, I'm at the book store and I'm minding my own business (well, sorta. It's not easy to mind your own business when you have a big mouth) and this man comes up to me. I swear to God, he looks a lot like this:
Now, I have nothing against farmers. In fact, I love farmers. Without them, I would starve and die so they are truly my heroes. I owe them my life. As my friend Candy Minx can tell you, our entire civilization exists only because of the farmer.
But this is what he looks like.
"Well hi! How you been?" He roars at me.
"Well hi to you!" I say. "I'm wonderful. How are you?"
He looks crest fallen.
"You don't remember me, do you?"
To be honest, he's right. I have absolutely no recollection of ever meeting him before.
"Of course I remember you. How could I forget you?" I lie.
He beams. His eyes open wide and I think to myself, he's going to cry. Oh goddamn, I am such a weirdo magnet.
"You do?? You really do? You have made my day, little lady!" He really says that. Little lady. I am little lady now.
"Well, I'm glad to know that sir." Actually, I am not glad. I'm a bit frightened, to be honest. But I stand there, grinning back at this soul and wishing he would go away.
"Say!" He says, "Maybe sometime you and me could go out and get some coffee or somethin'."
Yeah right, when your pigs fly.
I don't answer. He takes this as an affirmative and he walks out, grinning like the Cheshire cat.
Good grief. I need bolstering so I walk over to our bistro and get some coffee. One of our regular customers is sitting there and I see he has taken in this entire conversation.
His name is Cecil and he reminds me for all the world of Mr. Wilson from the old Dennis the Menace show:
Now, before I go any further. let me add a modest little disclaimer sort of thing; if you are female and you work with the public, you are automatically prey. You are The Hunted, you are something of a goal to a certain type of over zealous middle aged man. It's just the way it is. It doesn't mean you are skanky or anything like that. It's just the way of the world.
So, anyway, Cecil is sitting there and he has this serious look on his face and he says,
"Beej, I know why you always get stuff like this happening to you."
I wait for his insight.
"Why is that, Cecil?"
I take a sip of coffee as he explains.
"It's because most men want a virgin."
I choke on my coffee in an attempt to not spit it all over myself. Cecil sits there, straight faced and I can tell he is dead serious.
"Cecil, what are you talking about? You know I have two kids."
"Yes but you have that demeanor."
Well, butter my butt and call me a biscuit!... i never thought anybody would ever call me the V word at this stage of the game!
No sooner does this come out of Cecil's face when a dapper, elderly black man comes up to me and wants to know if I can ring up his books. I walk over to a register, he writes a check and I ask for his identification. He hands me his license. I read his info. His name is Reader Threeleveller. As I said before, I have a big mouth. So I ask him, "Is that your real name?"
"Yes'm, it is now. I had it changed in 1978."
You would think after all these years of being ME, I would know when to let things drop. But nooo. I cannot do that. I don't know how.
"Well, I'm curious, Mr, um, Threeleveller, what does your name mean?"
He puffs his chest out and I just can tell I am about to get his account of a religious epiphany.
"In 1977, the Lord allowed me to leave my physical body and travel to level number three which is the gate to heaven..."
Not to be blasphemous or anything, but my immediate thought was "oh shit."
"...not many folks get this blessing so I knew Jesus was giving me the opportunity to witness His love firsthand.."
Just then the phone rings and I know Jesus is giving ME the opportunity to witness an exit. I smile apologetically at Mr Threeleveller and head to the phone.
"You work here every day? I'm going to come back and tell you the entire story. You'll find it fascinating." he says.
"No!" I quickly tell him. 'Actually I am almost never here!"
He nods his head and walks out the door. What is it about me?, I wonder. Why am I such a weirdo magnet?
On second thought, maybe I don't want to know.
Week Three Summary
3 years ago