Right after graduation, we begin to pack up the house. Box upon box upon box was stacked to the ceiling in the living room. Where were we going? We didn’t know. It was only my mother, my two sisters and I. Mr. Fidel Castro, whom I will call “That Man” from now on, originally left the home for a new job that required him to travel continuously but we later found out he began living with his mistress of 12 years and bastard son in another state. He never returned. I was ecstatic. Apparently, he must have planned his disappearance all along since we had received notice that the house was going into foreclosure for a year’s worth of missed mortgage payments and tens of thousands of dollars were “missing” along with him.
By then, I figured That Man had abandoned us but my mother was still oblivious to that fact. She was hopeful to say the least. I called it delusional, in my mind. I never said it out loud until a few years later. Here we were, my mother, my two younger sisters, and myself all packed up with nowhere to go and a possibility of homelessness hanging in the horizon. It had to be through Divine Intervention that some long time friend’s of the family reached out to us out of nowhere, offering a place to crash for a little while. So we headed on down to the hottest place on earth, where everything’s bigger…the hair, the bugs and the disappointment. Good ‘ol Texas. We were there for only 2 months during the summer but I managed to get my first job at a close by Dairy Queen. It was my first taste of freedom and independence. Something I wasn’t afforded once That Man came into my life at the age of 4 years old on that awful day somewhere in Panama.
So here it begins. The adventures of my bad decision making. I hated my job because that Dairy Queen visor and matching shirt was doing nothing for my innate obsession with style but I loved it because it became a place to get away from the troubles that constantly loomed over our heads. Plus, I could make my favorite strawberry cheesecake blizzard to my heart’s content until I officially got sick of it. We soon found out that we escaped the tyranny of That Man only be bullied by another head-of-household dictator. Therefore, I tried to work as many hours as I could. It was my safe haven. While working there, I somehow gained a lot of admirers from my male co-workers as well as the customers. Some may think this to be considered a great thing but I soon found it to be a great nuisance. Everyday, those boys would come in there to buy any item they deemed appropriate to not look obvious, only wanting me to be the one to serve them. How annoying when I’m in the back trying to feed my face inconspicuously. The only perk to this ridiculous fiasco was that I no longer had to endure a 5 minute ride of unadulterated uneasiness from the new dictator. He was always so…mean. So, to avoid trying to survive another moment of being in the presence of his wrath, I would accept any ride that was offered. Yes, in the back of my mind I knew that one of these desperate boys could have taken me on a detour towards Deathville. However, considering my alternative, I decided it was worth the risk. Thank God their resumé for desperateness didn’t include experience in psycho.
There was one particular boy that began coming to the store every single day. He didn’t strike me as one of the admirers since everyone kept telling me he was gay. He wouldn’t ask to be served by me exactly, but I would notice him staying back until I was the one at the register taking orders. He was weird to say the least. He came dressed like a Michael Jackson imitator with the red leather jacket, tight black pants that barely reached his ankles, black penny loafers, white socks, and an afro like the young Michael to top it off. He wore this outfit each and every day. He never smiled, laughed, frowned…nothing. He was just…there. But everyday, he would come back ad stare at me until I came to the register to serve him. Finally, he broke his silence, I mean, besides the usual request for the chicken basket and oreo blizzard and said, “Will you go out with me?”. Before he could take his next breath I replied with, “I have a boyfriend”. It was a lie but I couldn’t think of anything else. “No” just seemed to easy. He smiled for the very first time, took his order to his favorite table facing the register counter to continue his staring match. I began to freak out internally, speed walked to the back of the store and told all my lying co-workers to shove it for telling me he was gay. They had the most contorted looks on their faces as they tried to soak in the news.
I wanted to disappear. Michael Jackson #2 never failed to complete his daily routine of showing up, ordering his favorite basket, and using his powerful beam of invisible staring laser to make me a nervous wreck. Everyone said he was harmless but I just didn’t have a good feeling about him. All of a sudden my safe haven was turning into hell. One day, I ended up switching my schedule with a co-worker from day to night and I had to close for the first time since working there. Upon starting my shift, everyone informed me I had just missed old Mikey and he didn’t fail to ask for me before leaving. For once, I felt peace and I was happy I wouldn’t have to see him that day. When it was time to close up shop, I began gathering the trash to dump them out back. I had 4 huge bags that probably weighed heavier than me to take to the dumpster. In my preoccupation with trying to successfully get the third bag over my head into the dumpster, I failed to realize I had company. With the bag stuck over my head, Michael #2 grabbed my wrist with an iron grip and the bag tumbles over my head and down my back with an eerie crash that echoed through the night. I attempted to pull my hand away in quick jerks but was shockingly surprised to find he was ten times stronger than his rail thin body looked or I was ten times weaker. Either scenario wasn’t in my favor. I screamed, kicked, screamed and kicked some more but he really had a death grip on me! Out of sheer desperation, I slashed my finger nails across his face aiming for his eyes. Of course, I missed and prematurely began to see my life flash before my eyes. Instead, it was the night manager flashing her flashlight blindingly in my face and screaming for him to go away. We ran inside leaving the last two trash bags to fend for themselves.
After that incident, Mr. Jackson continued his regularly scheduled program.
He was my first stalker. Certainly not the last but…I will never forget him. I wonder if he ever thinks about me?
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Read 1st entry of Diaries Past of a Serial Dating Virgin