Sunday, June 6, 2010

hair did, possibly death

Whenever I tell people I need to get my hair did they inevitably say "Why, it looks fine?" or "No, you don't, it looks really cute." First of all, I'm pretty sure they're lying their filthy guts right out. Second, if they aren't lying it's because I've spent a good 45 minutes shellacking my hair into something resembling a presentable coiffure, so they are incapable of actually seeing what my wig looks like in its natural state.

As you may recall, I whacked all of my hair off (all of it) on New Year's Eve. As you also may recall, I have not done anything else to it since then, with the exception of getting the very ends trimmed up a little bit a few weeks ago by my marmee. Because of it's overgrown state, this is the best I could do with my hair.

But, with some polishing up and a light dusting of this magic powder

my hair now looks like this

Tada! taDA! Tada forever! Now I'm all ready to graduate on Saturday. If I can only make it through finals.....

Now, onto something way the heck less awesome. Last year when I was living alone I met a guy who I will refer to as P. P was tall and awkward and quiet and shy, so being the once-shy-Mormon girl that I am, I made a point to always include him in conversations and say hello whenever I saw him. We'd discussed getting together and watching movies, and while I genuinely wanted to watch movies with him, I was so busy (18 upper division history credits, as you may recall) that I didn't have time to fit him into my schedule. After the quarter ended I didn't see him again, and though he called me up, I felt a little unsure about having him over. I lived alone, and whenever I was around him I got the feeling that he might have a crush on me - and not wanting to crush him, I decided it might be best if I did not spend time with him outside of class.
PRESENT DAY: This quarter I have one class with P. He sits in the corner opposite me. At the beginning of the quarter we crossed paths as I was leaving my classes and I therefore have a rough idea that his schedule is similar to mine, but that his class (on Tuesdays/Thursdays) begins quite a while after mine ends. Slowly I began to see him more and more, and one day as I was leaving class he was walking in front of me. I'd never noticed him walking my direction before, but figured he was going to a friend's house, or had parked in the lot near the stadium (which is about a block from my apartment). This continued, and I always kept my distance because, again, I was a little uncomfortable about him mistaking my genuinely caring and friendly nature for more than that.
One day, however, he stopped to put his sweatshirt on. I could tell by the way he was walking that he was aware that I was behind him, and figured he was using it as an excuse to stop and talk to me. Since he seems shy, etc, I assumed he was just too nervous to speak to me before or after class because I am usually talking to other students. I was my usual friendly self, and we walked about 1/4 of a mile to the intersection, where he went to the right and I continued onward toward my apartment. He's an intelligent, friendly guy, so it wasn't complete torture, though I was concerned that he might ask me if I wanted to watch movies with him. A few days later, he called me up and asked me if I'd like to study for our midterm together - a phone call I never returned.
I successfully managed to evade him for most of the quarter, though he always walked in front of me and I could, again, tell that he was aware that I was behind him. I also began to see him more and more on Tuesdays and Thursdays, though he never spoke to me because I was with my mate Jer. A few weeks ago he sat next to me on the chairs as we were all waiting for class to start (and interrupted the conversation I was having with Clayton and Jeremy), and I did my best to keep my responses brief and focus my attention on my mates. For some reason it made me really uncomfortable that he sat next to me, and even more uncomfortable when last Tuesday he stopped on the sidewalk, turned around, and waited for me to catch up to him. Again, I was just my friendly self, but I was not at all comfortable. My discomfort did not wane and my radars went off when, at the intersection where we'd parted ways before, he continued on with me toward my apartment.
"What are you doing?" I asked. "Aren't you supposed to go that way?" I gestured in another direction down the street.
"Just feel like going this way today."
"You're gonna get rained on!" I said, nodding toward the heavy, black rainclouds looming to our immediate left.
"It's okay, I'm from the West Side (meaning the rainy Seattle area)."
He continued to walk with me, and I tried to remain calm and friendly, but I intentionally did not hint that my apartment complex was coming up. I waited until we were literally at the entrance, and allowed him to walk a little farther ahead before I turned abruptly, said a cool "See ya!" and nearly ran across the parking lot to my unit.
I was angry at myself for being so weirded out by this. After all, I've always been on friendly terms with P, and have not had any problem the last few weeks when Jeremy has taken me home. Some days he and I would walk to his car and he'd drive me home, other days he'd walk me part way to my apartment and we'd part ways about halfway down the road so that he could walk to the parking lot to his car.
Last Wednesday we did just that. We walked on the side of the road opposite where I usually walk, and ahead (on my usual side) I noticed P walking back toward campus. I somewhat-jokingly told Jer that I thought that P was following me, that I'd seen him around a lot more than usual, and that he regularly pretended to have an excuse to stop and talk to me. I mentioned that P had even followed me to my apartment complex. Jer encouraged me to gesticulate wildly and pretend that he and I were having a very serious conversation so as to discourage P from following through with any intention of crossing the street to talk to me. I shared with Jer that I was a bit irritated and starting to grow concerned at this point. Why was P walking back toward campus? Jer and I were leaving our building about 15 minutes later than usual because we'd made plans with some friends to meet up for a study group. I told Jer that it looked like P was doubling back over my usual route in hopes of running into me. Although I then tried to calm myself and think reasonably (perhaps P forgot his sweatshirt in the building?), Jer took me seriously enough to walk with me a little farther than usual to make sure I was safe.
Thursday, Jer and I left class immediately after it was out, and though we were at first going to walk my route down the street, I noticed P again off to my right coming toward me, alerted Jer, and we both immediately veered the other direction so that we could walk to his car instead. I was mostly irritated because I was getting kind of sick of having to avoid P (who, while nice, seems pretty interested in me while I am not at all interested in even hanging out with him), and I again just laughed it off with Jer. I immediately had forgotten all about it until Friday afternoon when Katherine and I were walking home after her class and I began relaying to her my irritation and discomfort. I told her that I had chastised myself for being hypocritical - why was it okay for one friend to walk me home but not another? Katherine told me that we had "those feelings" for a reason and not to ignore them.
As soon as she said that I answered my own question. I felt uncomfortable walking with P because he was not my friend. He was not approaching me in class to say hello, we were not exiting the building together as buddies: he was waiting for me on an empty street, and accompanying me without encouragement to my apartment.

And then I realized: Oh my God, he is following me!

I realized that I actually knew where he lived: he'd told me last year he lived in on-campus housing, and earlier this quarter I had noticed him leaving the dorms when Chuck and Katherine and I were making our way back from the park one day, dorms which were located on the completely opposite side of campus. He's been going out of his way every day, an extra 2 miles at least. OF COURSE! All the pieces started to fall into place! At the beginning of the quarter when we had first crossed paths he had been coming from the direction perpendicular to where I was walking. How many days - this quarter and all last year - had he seen me walking down the street? I had even told him - roughly - where I lived, had talked about how I lived alone!

I relayed all of this to my siblings so that they'd be on the look out, so that they'd be prepared in case P showed up at the door. Garrett told me to start taking different ways home - but I had already kind of done that by going with Jeremy. And although I can leave the L&L building from a different door, there's ultimately only one way to get to my apartment complex - and he now knows where that is. I'm trying to stay calm and be rational: It could all be a coincidence; even though he's about 6'5" and twice my mass, unless he wants to just stab me out in the open, it would be pretty hard for him to kidnap me when he's on foot; maybe he really is just a nice guy who is too shy to approach me in public. But it's a lot of very specific coincidences. He could still drag me behind a bush or car and assault me, or follow me to my apartment and try to attack me here. He's not only talked to me in public, but interrupted my conversation with others in order to do so. I'm already hyper vigilant about this kind of situation to begin with, and having enough evidence to confirm my subconscious suspicions puts me on edge! If I run into him again I may have to confront him about it. "Don't you live on the other side of campus?" "Why are you walking this direction if it adds another 2 miles?" "Maybe you should try walking around campus instead." and if he doesn't take the hint maybe I'll be a little more direct: "If you walk this direction, please do not walk with me, it makes me uncomfortable."

Totally. Creepy.