My Adventures in Nashville Land (Continued)

realenoughcorelbrokenguitarHe was either gay and aggressive, or he was going to kill me. I’m sure that got your attention. I was in Tennessee and a long way from home … and wasn’t I just like those many that had fallen off the face of the earth, a stranger meeting a stranger and strangely gone? But I was not gone yet. He knew I was in the Tanglewood complex, but I don’t believe he knew exactly where in the complex I lived … and I had to keep it like that. Maybe he wanted to take me to his apartment where someone else would bash me over the head and saw my body up into pieces. That would take a lot of water to wash that blood away, and I felt the water company was charging me for far too much water, which was probably coming off of someone else’s meter … why not his?

Who was he? I’d met him by the mailboxes, which were all housed together under a roof by the curb, like a bus stop, just outside the pool. He might have been lonely. He might have been friendly. He might have even been normal, but he didn’t blink, and his eyes almost seemed to cross and uncross while you spoke to him, and look over your shoulder as if signaling someone to hit you from behind (Probably the same guy waiting in the apartment). If you took a picture of him, the photo would have come out with four red eyes instead of the two, and I’m not saying he wore glasses. But that wasn’t the deciding factor in my misgivings of him. It was that smile, Botoxed onto his face for eternity and never to be welcomed at a funeral. It never went away, like an evil genius who’s having sick thoughts and every one of them you believe is about you. Maybe this is a delusion that comes with homesickness or sparked by too many views of America’s most wanted stories, but I was not going to be a statistic. Isn’t it funny how I can forget a name just mentioned to me, but his name, fifteen years later, remains unforgotten? I won’t say it now, for fear he might read this.

I stared out my window to make sure he wasn’t there, before I left in the morning. I parked my car behind my building, out of sight, so he’d think I was out of town. I honestly became a prisoner in my own apartment, a fugitive on the run, but with no substantial proof or anything, I couldn’t involve the police. I finally had to tell someone to justify my either being absurd or diligent, and so I told Doug, a coworker at work … I was now working at an electric circuit plant … testing circuits … and he knew exactly who I was talking about though he didn’t live where I lived, saying his name before I’d even mentioned it. “Are you kidding me?” Okay … I wasn’t nuts … or at least nuts alone, Doug could have been nuts too, but it was too eerie the coincidence, even two nuts focusing on the same squirrel.

So how did I get out of this? It would have been wonderful to have picked up a paper with the headlines: Cross-eyed Serial Killer Caught Attempting His Next Installment, and found his smiling face (why wouldn’t it have been?) posted below. I’d have felt vindicated for my better judgment and keen foresight instead of scorned for my wild imagination … but with no such luck, did this happen. At some point this fellow, whose face suffered from nightmarish clown syndrome, disappeared. I can’t even recall it happening. I just realized he wasn’t there. I don’t know what happened to him, but all I can say is I’m glad it did. But to this day I just don’t know the truth. I mean … I think myself perceptive … but … but maybe I’ve just got a screw loose … and that’s that.

Real: Everything

Not Real: Nothing

(More to Come)

Roger McManus

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