Tuesday, September 09, 2003

I had the weirdest of Sundays this past weekend.

While on my way to Mass, I was approached by a man who--saying he was from out of town--asked me what there was to do in town. I told him a couple of places he could go before trying to excuse myself when he asked if he could come with me to Mass!

"Sure," I told him uncomfortably, really not sure at all. Who was this guy and what was he trying to pull?

I mean, he seemed nice enough; he bought me a juice when I showed him the Market (after Mass.) As a thank you for my time, I suppose.

He also seemed more than a little creepy (within five minutes of being in Church [no more than ten minutes after meeting me], he told me, "You look really peaceful when you pray." During Mass he asked me if I had a boyfriend. Afterwards he asked me if I could do him a "favour" and take my hair down [I had it pulled off my neck] because he wanted to see what I'd look like with my hair down! Of course, I didn't oblige. What a odd request!) and more than a little suspect (he said he was Catholic, but his behaviour in Mass could suggest otherwise. He said he was a BMW-driving mechanical engineer for Mitsubishi and that he had been transferred to this town for work, but there're no Mitsubishi offices here. I don't know that I'd believe his claim to having just arrived in town: when I initially told him I was going to Mass, he asked if I was going to Mass at _____ [the direction he was coming from indicated that he would have just passed said Church], but when he saw the Church, he said in (mock?)surprise, "Oh, is that the Church we're going to?")

I finally escaped to catch my bus--an escape that with the secret of my phone number in tact. Still, I didn't feel at ease until I was on that bus. I was worried he was going to follow me on to the bus and then home.

But he didn't.

But I'm still feeling weird--"shaken" isn't the right word--about the whole thing.

My encounter with this man--it may not seem that disturbing now, but it was. I didn't know what this guy was going to do. Funny, though, that at the time, I was most worried that he'd run off with my purse. Now, doesn't that somehow seem fitting for a cash-strapped university student? "Take whatever you want, but leave my purse!" I know very well, though, that money is a lot easier to recover than a sense of security.

I have no illusions about this: things could have turned out badly for me. But they didn't. Not really. (As I said, I'm still a little weirded out by it all.)

I'm thankful things worked out as well ("well"?) as they did.

I'm sure that guy was harmless--he did say that it was "okay" if I didn't want to give him my number. I think he's probably just lonely. But still.

They tell you to always trust your gut instinct. I was uncomfortable. They only factor that prevented me from fleeing was that we were in busy, public areas (and I made sure it stayed that way--hence the Market.) He couldn't have done anything to me if he tried. So why am I so weirded out by all of this?

I'm really feeling confused here. Part of me feels oddly flattered to be so singled out. How sick does that sound?! The other part of me--panicking--wonders why this guy chose to single me out?

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