Started out with a bit of ice this morning, the roads were bad, I stayed home until I felt like the hazards had cleared... Nobody in their right mind wants to be out in these Memphis streets in the middle of any hazardous weather conditions. This situation turns already horrendous drivers into some sort of zoo animals playing bumper cars. The morning went off without any fatalities as far as I know. Now, I feel like I have let everyone down with not much to say the last couple days so I will throw in a story. Since my niece, Kristie had been begging, I'll do the Serial Killer one.
Kristie is one of the smartest ones in our family. Of course, I say "ones" because we're all pretty smart cookies, but I admire her educational background as she has gone pretty much 'all the way'. Even now, she's on her way to getting a fantastic graduate degree. I'm very excited for her on that. She's had such a rough road in her teaching career, it will be nice to see her do something she enjoys.
Youth is quite a magical strange illusion at times. When you're young, you don't think everything through as well as you do once you get a bit older and realize your mortality. The same went for me. I think back on some of the things I've done, the places I've gone and the people that I went there with and I am truly amazed that I am sitting here sharing this story with you.
Kristie and I are only two years apart, which is probably a little odd for a niece and aunt, or maybe not. Before she went flying off to Tucson Arizona, far away from the comforts of home, she attended a reputable Math and Science High School, and on to a University not so far away to start her education. We spent a good deal of time together back in those days, while I was piddling away my valuable time at a local community college. My roommate at the time, Tracey didn't make it quite as far as I did. She stayed in the small town, and had a family... you know things that most normal people do.
One weekend, Kristie, Tracey and I went adventuring in my little minute Pontiac 1000 (you remember these cars, the same as a Chevette only different... somehow. Don't ask how, I don't know). These cars were not meant for the interstate. I would shift on up into 4th gear, gain some speed and then hit 5th gear [no wait, there was no 5th gear!?] Well, anyways, I was cruising this hunk of junk as fast as it would go, which wasn't but around 60 mph and you could already feel the entire car shaking, warning you to slow it down, that it simply couldn't tolerate life in the fast lane! At one point, I remember telling Kristie to roll her windows down, and I would turn off the air conditioner so that I could "go faster" (well, it felt like it! it really did!)
Upon this particular outing, we intended to hit up the Mall of Memphis, which was a favorite shopping spot of mine for a long time. We did the usual, made circles around the mall, up and down between the two levels, hit up the food court and all. We were on the upper level when an extremely well-dressed guy, dark hair, early to mid-twenties smiled and said 'Hello' to us. Being the polite southern girls that we are, of course we spoke back, and went about our way. None of us was really aware that the guy had an interest in any of us, and none of us had an interest in knowing anything further about the guy. So we moved along and noticed that he kept popping up in our general vicinity. Struck us uncomfortably odd.
We ducked into "Frederick's of Hollywood" to browse around for a few minutes, hoping that maybe he would take the hint and go about his merry way. Of course we discussed this while we were in the sexy underwear store... Wondering what the hell was up with this guy... each of us getting a bit 'urked' by his following us around. We finally decide that we'll venture back out of the store to see if he's vamoosed. We have to drag Kristie away from one particularly perverted-looking pair of men's elephant-trunk thong underwear, in which she was looking at with a gleam in her eye... I think I noticed a little bit of drool on her lip... (sorry, I'm getting off track).
We stepped out of Frederick's, and we don't see him. 'We're in the clear! Hot damn! He's gone.' we're thinking... we take a left turn to head on back to the lower level, and he appears from the other side of the wall, having been lurking around the entire time we were there. (What a perve! Geesh)
He approaches the three of us, as we're huddled closely together in female protective stance... "So... what are you three lovely ladies doing today??"
We all look at each other with sarcastically-puzzled looks on our faces. I mean, we're girls in a mall, what does it look like we're doing?
Replying, somewhat in unison we chatter "Uhhh, just shopping."
I've never seen this guy before in my entire life. I have no desire to see this guy ever again in my life. We appreciate that he's a well-dressed, seemingly polite creepy freak and all, but what else is there to say to him? What else could he possibly have to say? I mean, he's obviously a grand conversationalist and all. I underestimated him. He was far more calculating than I could've imagined. He looked straight at me, as if zeroing in on me and shutting out the two blonde girls (which is strange enough in itself for most guys, right?). We should have known then and there that this was the direct descendant of Ed Gein, if Ed Gein could've had any descendants that is. Then he made disturbing eye contact with me and asked me the following question.
It wasn't "Hey, can I have your number?" or "Hey would you like to go out sometime?" both of which would've probably bothered me about the guy since he had just seen us this once in a mall... but it was worse than that. Out of nowhere he just moved forward, looked straight at ME and says "Would you like to walk me to my car?"
Just so everyone knows, I was NOT ABOUT to walk this freaky Ted Bundyesque psycho to his car. But at that moment, I was so shocked and just trying to figure out what was with him that I was somehow speechless, and just standing there with my mouth hanging open. I have no idea why. It seems like slow motion in retrospect. Kristie and Tracey were both looking at me with astonished looks and trying to get the word out of my mouth... the word that I was going to say, the one that wouldn't come out for anything. Yanking my arm, they both sounded off... "NOOOO!!!" and I barely squeaked out a 'Um, no thank you." as they escorted me quickly to the other side of the mall and we went into hiding until we knew that he was gone.
Had this guy had previous success with such a bold maneuver? How many girls had he [Met / Dated / Chopped up and buried under the crawlspace of his house] with this line? I guess we lost him, because we never saw any more signs of him that day and went on to eventually hang out on Beale Street for a while, where I was ticketed for running a red light, by a female cop who might not have given me the ticket except for the fact that she nearly plowed into the side of my car as a result of my running the red light. I swear I didn't see it, as it was just another blur in the sea of neon lights that echoed down Beale Street, as it was nearing dusk.
Or maybe it was just the fact that I was still a bit distracted by the thought of nearly becoming a 'Skin Dress', which is how Kristie refers to the incident when she reminds me, even now.
It's a funny feeling when I sit back and think of how fragile life is, and just how many 'near misses' I might have had along the way.