All my life I’ve been a weirdo-magnet: If there are weirdos anywhere in the vicinity, they’ll unerringly seek me out and attach themselves to me. (Sometimes literally – more on that later.)
I used to think it was something about my face. Some label on my forehead that was invisible to me but glowed like an irresistible beacon to anyone looking at the world through weirdo-coloured glasses.
But this week while I was contemplating a pattern of knotholes in our fence that looks exactly like an evil face, I suddenly realized that I see faces everywhere. Sometimes when I’m sitting on the john I glimpse faces in the blotchy pattern of our bathroom floor tiles. I see faces on cars. I see faces on potatoes. This may be a little, erm… weird.
Then, as I sniffed the fall air, it occurred to me that autumn smells as though summer’s been wearing its underwear just a bit too long. You know; that funky aroma when something’s not quite rotten but it’s well on the way.
You already know I’m not a big fan of autumn, but that was a pretty weird thought even for me. (I’m also bothered by the fact that I referred to autumn’s ‘irresistible scent’ in that earlier post… and now it smells like funky undies? Yikes!)
So apparently I attract weirdos because I’m one myself.
I’d like to say that revelation bothers me, but it doesn’t. Weird is far more interesting than normal. I’m fascinated by people who harmlessly travel a few steps aside of the beaten path. Mind you, the ones that don’t even know there is a beaten path worry me; so I guess I’m not overly weird, as weirdos go.
Unlike the guy who attached himself to me when I was riding the C-train many years ago…
I glanced up and thought, “Uh-oh. That guy looks weird.”
Sure enough, he gravitated directly to my seat and sat down. Then, without speaking, he gently took my hand.
I’ve got pretty good people-radar and he seemed harmless, so instead of making a scene and/or breaking his fingers I dislodged his hand and said, “No, I don’t want to hold your hand.”
He just smiled and took my hand again. Didn’t do or say anything else; just sat there smiling off into space and holding my hand like a little kid.
So I thought, “Ah, what the hell.”
I went back to my book, and we rode downtown holding hands. His stop came before mine, and I was relieved when he did let go of my hand at last. But he wasn’t finished with his ritual. Reaching over, he gave two gentle tugs on my earlobe, then grasped my hand and moved it toward his ear. I gave two gentle tugs on his earlobe in return, and then he smiled sweetly and got off the train. Never said a word.
Definitely odd, but all in all it was kind of heartwarming.
So at least I’m not the weirdest weirdo on the planet, but it’s probably a good thing I blog so I can let the weird out in small weekly doses instead of letting it build up until I accost total strangers on public transit.
Have you got any harmless-weirdo stories?
* * *
New discussion over at the Virtual Backyard Book Club: A Rose By Any Other Name… How important are character names in fiction? Click here to have your say!