3.13.2006

Make it go away

I woke up this morning with the rapidly fading memory of a pair of eyes, pointedly narrowed in my direction. It wasn’t until I got over my productive streak at work this morning and sat back to dream of a nap that I remembered the eyes and their origin.

Yesterday morning I hauled myself out of bed and went into the kitchen where I puttered around in a fog of fatigue for a bit, glanced at the clock, realized we’d never get to our Day of Slack at this rate, so decided to give Monk a lie-in and get the grocery run out of the way. This would leave cleaning the house as the only obstacle to our enjoying what was sure to be a beautiful Sunday afternoon. Of course, “enjoying” in this case meant “parking it on the couch to catch up with several weeks of recorded shows.” (What, you thought I planned to do some yard work?)

At the store, I pulled out my rough sketch of a list and proceeded to make life a little more exciting by shopping in a counterclockwise direction around the store, rather than the clockwise route we usually take.

(This genius idea, plus the sketchy list, translated into a confusion-infused, slow motion shopping trip as I realized my solid knowledge of the store layout was nothing but a big hairy lie.)

(I suppose I should have known better, if the times I’ve thought it would be neat to take an alternate route back into my neighborhood- and the disastrous results- are any indication.)

As I was pacing up and down the paper goods aisle looking for peanut butter, I realized a woman was, well, it seemed she was shadowing me. Figuring I was in her way, I quickly stepped across the aisle, stopped walking and looked over at her. She was quite obviously staring at me. There was something unsettling in her olive-hued gaze. I gave up my quest for peanut butter, grabbed some paper towels and moved on to the next item on my list.

A short while later I was applauding myself for finding the oatmeal, when I heard a cart enter the aisle. At this point I was on the phone with a groggy and bewildered Monk (no doubt wondering what was taking me so long). I quizzed him on his breakfast needs, tracking the strange woman in my peripheral vision. She was standing almost nose-to-shelf in my aisle, and casting her eyes in my direction. Huh.

I was empathizing with an elderly gentleman’s rant regarding stocking milk a day after its expiration date (but also mentally urging Gramps to hurry it along), when the woman came barreling toward me from the yogurts, steering her cart around mine at the last possible second, and positively glaring at me as she flew past. I was awfully glad to grab my (non-expired) milk and head to checkout.

But! I then saw her marching out of the store with her cart as I was loading my bags into the trunk. I threw the last of it in, slammed the trunk closed and rushed to return my cart, dive into the car and tire-squeal out of the parking lot.

(Of course I returned my cart. Don’t you? Animals.)

(No tire squealing, actually. I left the lot in a safety-first, defensive driving, civilized manner. Don’t you? Animals.)

As I headed for home, I started thinking fantastically paranoid thoughts about the crazy-eyed grocery store lady. I had no idea which vehicle was hers; for all I knew she could be following me home to ambush me in my driveway with an axe, or a Jesus Saves! pamphlet. I cleverly took a different way home, just in case. Those eyes may be haunting me, but at least I made it home safely (eventually).

1 comment:

Blogger Lisa said...

No, Oh God No. Not the "Jesus Saves" Pamphlet!

I've had someone come flying up besides me before while driving. And the guy followed me for quite some time. I was really scared. If I changed lanes, he did. If I sped up or slowed down, he did. If I turned, guess what? I grabbed my phone and I think he saw me talking on it, and then he sped off. Freaked me out. Your story made me think of that.

Maybe she thought you were so ex girlfriend of a current love interest or something. Who knows?

10:23 PM  

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