Sometimes I’m a paranoid lady. About normal things, like unemployment and salmonella and armpits; and about some not normal things, like imaginary murderers and full-on-rapists. And when I’m paranoid about make-believe bad guys, it usually turns out badly.
For example, last Thursday night, sometime after the turkey feast had turned to turkey farts, my mom made me take the fambly dog, Chico, for a walk. We’d had Thanksgiving dinner at my sister/brother-in-law’s house, and they live in a real neighborhood — you know, blocks and sidewalks and stuff — but still, ’twas night! Past 6 o’clock, at least! Street lamps or not, I don’t care, it was dark as a mufugga out there. And everyone knows the freaks come out at night.
Even Whodini can tell you that
Chico as my witness, there was a freak out there that night. About seven minutes into the walk, I noticed a car following us. Well, I noticed a car parked on the street with its lights on, so I decided it was following us. Worried they’d kidnap my dog and 22-year-old, 6-foot me, I started speed walking and robot arming. Thirty seconds later, when I saw it was parked in the same spot with its lights still on, I realized speed walking wasn’t enough. Even though I was almost back to the house, I screamed “GO!” to Chico, spread my fingers wide for extra Allie speed, and started sprinting. And then I looked to my right and saw that all of my sister’s neighbors from next door were outside and watching me.
See? A bad ending! And that’s actually the least terrible of all the times my irrational paranoia/bitchassness has funked me over. Here’s an even worse one.
In 1998, there was a real bad ice storm in Maine. Everyone lost power and school was cancelled for two weeks. For warmth, my family had to bring all of our mattresses into the living room and make a super bed to share. We had to toast bagels on gas heaters. It was, by far, the best two weeks of my life.
During the day my sisters and I would go into my mom’s work. Her office still had power, so we’d go in and watch rented movies in the conference room, and get our nails painted by the crazy nail lady in the same building, and climb the shelves in the shipping department. It was awesome.
The only un-awesome part was that her work shared a bathroom with the rest of the building. To get to the bathroom, you had to walk down a long-ish hallway, take a left, and walk a foot. It might not sound like that big a deal, but it is when there’s wormy janitors creeping around.
One time, after leaving the bathroom, I heard a bunch of clanging keys. I don’t think I even turned around to see what it was — I just assumed it was janitor with bad intentions. So, when I turned the corner into the long hallway, I started sprinting. I was pumping my little 9-year-old legs like crazy — had my Allie speed fingers spread and everything. Sure, I hadn’t seen a janitor, and I certainly hadn’t seen a janitor who looked like he tryna steal me, but I knew one was there. And I knew he wasn’t far behind.
Knowing that — that he wasn’t far behind — I wanted to see just how far away he was. Still sprinting forward, I turned my head around to see where he was. He wasn’t there. A glass door was, though — only it was in front of me. Boy did I hit the shiz outta dat.
And not just “Oh boy I hit the shiz outta dat and bumped my noggin,” either. It was “Oh boy I hit the shiz outta dat and why’m I on the ground? Where’d all this glass come from? Why are there people running towards me? Am I crying?”
Actually, I wasn’t crying — I was totally fine. Apparently I could’ve died pretty easily, though. The door was supposed to make like James Frey and break into a million harmless little pieces; instead, it broke into four to five huge impaling-loving shards. They all missed me and I didn’t have so much as a scratch. Minus a bruise on my knee which I lovingly call my permabruise, cause the bastard’s still there.
Also, one time I was home alone and convinced myself there was an impostor of my neighbor sneaking around. I ran into a wall and lost feeling in a part of the same knee. I call it a black hole, because that’s what it was.