Monday, June 12, 2006

The Fear of Being Creepy

You know that guy who walks alone. You often find him staring. He looks a little scraggly. You don't know why but something seems a little off, a little creepy about him. I'm always paranoid that I come across this way. I'm quiet. I only shave once a month. I'm a people watcher. All these things add up to me coming across as creepy. Take the new neighbor girl that moved in a couple weeks ago. She seems like a nice girl. Has that cute punky thing going on, but that's not the point. As known to most people, I smoke. I'm also an exterior smoker. I never smoke in my apartment. In fact the only time I smoke inside is if I happen to find a bar that allows you to smoke inside. Anyway, when I smoke I walk out to the entrance of our apartment complex. I do this for a couple reasons. One, my neighbors usually have their windows open and I don't want the smoke blowing into their apartment. Two, I can watch the "beach people" walk by. The problem is that the new neighbor's apartment is right at the entrance. Too often she's stepped out of her apartment with me standing there like a stalker. Thinking that "Just out smoking a cigarette" is a lame excuse I then act like I'm going somewhere or I was planning on going somewhere and forgot something. I have the pat my pockets like I forgot my keys/wallet charade down pat. The problem with pretending I'm going somewhere is that I walk out of the complex with nowhere to go. So, I just walk around the block and go through the complex entrance on the other side. All this so I don't look creepy. I'm certain this does nothing but make me look creepier. This creepy thing has been a complex of mine. If I'm waiting for someone at their apartment or house, I look at my watch so people walking by know I'm waiting for someone. I will also often do they fake cell phone call for those walking by within ear shot. I then pretend I'm calling the person I'm waiting for in my loud voice. I haven't figured out if I should look people in the eye or not. Either way can come across creepy. Right now I'm using the glance up and smile technique. I'm pretty sure that's creepy too. I don't know where this paranoia came from. Perhaps I just fear someone calling the cops. Maybe it started in high school and the infamous poem in locker incident? What I do know is that if I find myself standing alone somewhere I will do what ever it takes to make sure I don't come across as creepy. Of course, I could shave regularly, but that would take effort.

7 comments:

el lápiz pequeño said...

this is hilarious! i have that complex too ... when i'm waiting for some one i'm always debating - does it look stranger to sit in my car and wait or to sit on the sidewalk ...

Jaime said...

You are so neurotic--that's comforting. It's always nice to know that other neurotics are out there. I'm just now getting over the shoplifting paranoia. Whenever I'm in a small store I feel like the owners are watching me and that they're absolutely sure I've stolen something. I try to keep my hands out in the open and avoid my pockets. I've never shoplifted anything so I don't know where this guilt complex is coming from.

And are you really that creepy? How do you dress in L.A? I find I'm a clothes person--as long as they look like they took the time to dress nicely or, at least, normally, they're probably okay--even if unshaven.

I think you've pretty much ruined it with the new neighbor though. If you'd just stuck it out and smoked there, she'd eventually have gotten the point that this is what you do. But now you've done the I'm-on-my-way routine and you're stuck with it.

Ben has just confessed that he does the same thing when he's waiting for someone. He's afraid he'll look like a stalker so he tries to talk on the phone, look at his watch, etc. If it weren't for el lapiz pequeno, I'd say it was a guy thing, but now my theory is blown.

And you are the nicest smoker I know. Our neighbors go outside to smoke and it all comes inside our bedroom window. We also have a skunk somewhere in the neighborhood. Mmmm, summer will be fun.

The Sound and the Fury said...

What's funny is that I'm always waiting and just standing around and I don't even smoke, so there goes the "just smoking a cigarette excuse." Funny thing is, I've never ONCE worried about coming across as creepy. Because of that, I probably DO come across that way often.

I also have a shaving problem of late, coupled with the slicked back "Goodfellas" hair-do and hundreds of tattoos.

Holy shit, now I'm definitely going to have a complex...

faith said...

I'm completely oblivious to the people around me most of the time, so I have no idea how I come accross...I guess self absorbed! lol

linz said...

I will usually check my voicemail even if I know I have no messages. I learned the hard way with the fake phone call, it actually rang while I was in mid conversation. AKWARD!

Jiff said...

This is wonderful.

Imagine how, truly, much creepier it is if someone watched you just walk around your complex and then back to where you started.

This all reminds me of 2 Lyle Lovett songs...

1) Creeps Like Me
and
2) Pontiac (about an old man who sits on his porch, watching his neighbor, smoking a cigarette).

I miss Brad.

kerri said...

i find that the people who think they appear the creepiest are the least creepy of all. those who deny their creepiness are actually the ones you should steer clear of. so you're ok.