Tuesday, October 28, 2008


(as a way of dealing with what was/is actually a pretty emotionally and mentally traumatizing event, I’ve decided to write this blog entry as a tribute/parody to/of the great horror writer, H.P.Lovecraft. For those not familiar with his work, I suggest reading these first:


Of course, you might decide to read more of that instead of the blog itself, which is pretty cheesy and full of denial, and the approach I’m using means only this: I. Am. Still. Dealing. With. It.)


The darkest parts of the universe contain some of the most foul and reprehensible creatures known to man. It is, perhaps, only our predilection for covering up the horrors by denial and repression that allows us to survive such things. For myself, I can only hope my memories are crushed -- shattered beyond recognition soon, for the human mind is not built to survive the tests and despairing wraiths of the festering pools of horror I have been subjected to. If deadening blackness waits too long, my mind will eventually shatter under the weight of too many times at the key hole, too many times at the window, too many times at that little...hole thing... in the door, you know, the thing with the lens that bends that allows you to see who’s at the door – the peephole, that’s it! Too many times at the peephole, waiting, listening for the sounds that might come by....

putt, putt, putt. putt, putt, putt.

I was once a student at the College of Rose State, located in the City of Midwest in the state of Oklahoma, which is a part of the States United in America, on the continent of America (North), sitting plainly on the planet of Earth in the Universe known as This One. A friendly place, its fountain wet and sparkling with the lights underneath the water in a technically brilliant display of wet light. The buildings sit full of people during the day, but closed and empty at night, possibly to allow sleep to release them from the possible horrors that could possibly exist somewhere on its campus. No man knows.

For four or five years this campus was my home away from home, since I did not live there, but at home, a place not on campus, making, therefore, the campus not my home. It felt like one at times, and I had developed a friendly banter with its occupants and temporary visitors one might call dialogue.

“Hey, Dave!”
“Hey, what’s up?”

We spoke to each thusly, these others and myself.

At the time of this horrid tale, I was recovering from what would come to be known as the Relationship I Needed To Get Out Of But Couldn’t. A young, red-haired beauty had smitten my heart, and I was hers, heart and soul. After a few happy months, during which we saw each other frequently, my heart grew 3 times as big, full of the love I had for her, and hope for the future it might contain.

Alas, it was not to be. The woman turned out to be possessive and a bigot, and had concealed such personality “quirks” from me until familiarity bred ease of around-ness, and she dropped her guard. I, for once, was traumatized, knowing my strong feelings for her would make it difficult to leave. After months of mental anguish and physical exploration, I knew I had to leave, but how? I knew that if I was in her presence I would never be able to utter the words I needed. So I did it on her answering machine. A spineless move I admit, but what else you gonna do?

Thus freed, I spent the next few days both pining for and yearning against the young woman, whose face I saw every day until I took her picture down from the bookcase. I begged off the dating scene for a while until I could get my bearings straight, which I did by looking down and seeing where I was. “Healed!”, I proclaimed myself. But my proclamation was incorrect. I was not healed, just alone – alone and lonely. And horny. Very horny.

One day in late October, I was venturing around the Humanities building, where I spent most of my time, due to the fact that many of my friends were there, and I had a lot of classes in the building. I entered the computer room through the door, where a Spanish immigrant woman I was acquainted with was typing away, and a woman with shorter hair sat with her back to me, typing, as well.

“Hey, Anna. What’s up?”
“Oh, hey, Dave. How are you doing?”
“Oh, okay. How’s your grandmother?”
“Oh, she’s fine.”

It was at this point that the other, non-Spaniard woman turned over to look at us. Her short hair and glasses proved the fact that she was a short-haired woman -- with glasses.

“Hey, Anna? Who’s this?”
“Oh, hey, (her name removed to avoid accidental incantations of some sort), this is David.”
“Hi.” (me here)
“Are you a student?” (Her)
“Yeah, last year of a two-year program stretched out to five.”
“Nice to meet you.”

She turned and returned to her typing. Anna and I went into the main broadcasting room for a class we had. It was a class in... NEWS FEATURE PRODUCTION! And kinda fun.

That Friday night, I dressed myself to the eights and planned to attend a campus theatrical production, something I enjoyed doing, since I was the campus theatrical production reviewer, and took my job very seriously, handing out stars and everything. I noticed some friends in the audience who were not Spaniards, nor immigrants, and sat down next to them, for the familiarity of friends can often overcome the weirdness of... the... inside place with the thingie in the lobby. The short-haired woman was among them, dressed nicely, and looking very cute, I might add, if the horrors of cuteness can cover the deeds of the black soul. And we’d just met, too.

After the play – a fantasia that Jeff Tiger completely stole, I went to take my leave of the group, when the short-haired woman with the glasses asked if I wanted to meet up with some people to have a drink at a restaurant nearby. Lonely from my broken heart and horny in my soul, I took her up on the offer. We went to the restaurant, drank, and talked. The conversation was pleasant, as pleasant as conversation with a militant vegetarian can be. Yes, she was a vegetarian, a militant one. As I just said.

Drink combined with more drink combined with horniness to produce what is known as a “make-out session” in my car back on campus, where I had driven to reunite her with her mode of transportation – a small, blue farm truck. The kind with the flat bed in the back and cab all the way front – like the British ones. Before things got too far, I righted myself, said I’d had a good time, and prepared myself for what was next.

“So, would you like to do this again?”
“I’m free Wednesday.”
“Okay. What do you wanna do?”
“Let’s get dinner. Do you like Flip’s?”
Flip’s was/is an Italian restaurant in Oklahoma City, with a large vegetarian menu.
“Sounds good,” I said. “How ‘bout I pick you up here and I’ll drive?”
“See you then.”
We separated then, slightly disheveled, and exchanged phone numbers. We also decided what time we should meet, since that was something we needed to know.

She got in her little truck and drove away, her vehicle making a noise that I thought was cute at the time, but which now reverberates in the moldy passions of my soul:

putt, putt, putt. putt, putt, putt.

Between the time I had sucked face and the time of the date, I’d had second thoughts. I definitely wasn’t ready to get involved with someone emotionally, since my heart was still bruised and battered from the Tyson-like beating it had recently taken. I decided that if the date went well, then I’d continue to see the woman, but deep down, I knew this was not the time for such things.

We met and headed to Flip’s.

Dinner was comfortable, full of small talk and black bean soup. Eventually, she said something that told me I needed to cut this off, quickly.

“You know, there are a lot of vegetarian dishes you might like. I’d love to cook some for you. You could come over and I’ll cook.”
“Sounds nice,” I uttered, knowing that any more would give her the idea that I was interested.

I drove her back to campus to drop her off, and realized I needed to end this now.

“Hey, I’m sorry to do this, but I don’t really think I can date right now.”
“Oh, what’s up?”
“I just had to get out of a relationship that really wasn’t right for me, and I thought maybe I was ready to go out with someone again, but I’m really not. I’m sorry about this. It has nothing to do with you or anything like that, it’s just that I think I’m going to deal with myself for a while. Okay?”
“Well, we can just hang out, right?”
“Sure.” A BIG mistake. I had left an opening – an opening that I wanted never to be filled, but which turned out to be big enough to drive a farm truck through.
“Okay, well take care, and I’ll see you around campus.”
“Okay, and I’m really sorry. I had a good time tonight, but I’m just not ready to date anyone, yet.”
“Well, I’ll keep in touch.” She got out of the car and closed the door, walking over to her farm truck. She got in and drove away.

putt, putt, putt. putt, putt, putt.

What I said was truthful – I had no intention of dating anyone for a while, and just wanted to lose myself in a series of meaningless sexual encounters, not taste delicious black bean soup at her place. “That seemed to go well,” I thought, and headed home.

Over the next few weeks I began to receive letters from her – letters that were full of friendliness, slight flirtation, and advice for how to deal with my problems. I smiled as I read them, and filed them in the plastic container I kept my more impermanent, scrunched up papers, before I took them out to the big, green, roll-able trash bin. If the letters seemed to be coming more frequently than they should, I was too busy with school and work to notice.

Eventually, the letters still kept coming. She began to hang out in the broadcasting lab more often than normal, since she wasn’t actually a part of the department. After the 9-10th time I “accidentally” ran into her there, I began to avoid hanging around the lab socially, and only showed up to do my work – a change in my social nature I assumed would be temporary.

The letters still still kept coming – one of them a card-slash-puzzle, with a picture of the something-I-can’t-remember on it. I began to realize that my plan was not working, and that I’d have to avoid her even more. I kept the letters, for some reason – a reason my subconscious may have been preparing me for – the horrors up ahead, around the turn, over by that grey house on the corner – no, not that one, the one with the white fence and the – yes, that’s it. Those horrors.

I continued to avoid her, sneaking around the broadcasting lab when I could, ducking around corners, and slipping into the radio booths for a chance at sweet, sweet privacy. I was invited to a Christmas party at her house and politely declined, stopped answering phone calls from her and politely saying I was busy – every single time, and never, ever ventured across campus without looking around first. At the time, I was not quite self-aware enough to notice that I’d altered my normal daily patterns – a sign that should have been obvious, much like the big, golden arch that announces your arrival at McDonald’s. There would be no delicious fried pies for me, though. I was in for a rude awakening, and not by alarm clock, but by Tiger.

Jeff Tiger was a photographer for the paper, and also enrolled in some broadcasting classes. He was a cool person – cooler than most everyone I knew. His sense of humor dry as the dust on the bookcase I’d neglected to clean and smart as all get out. The Spring semester had just started, and I was delighted that my eternal college enrollment was about to end – this chapter, of it, at least. I showed up at the lab and joked about it “being safe?”

Jeff seemed weird -- like a weird tale. He walked over to me and spoke softly. There was no stick to be seen.

“Hey, there’s something you probably need to know.”
“What’s up”, I asked, head slightly cocked with my usual quizzical look.
“Let’s talk somewhere else.”

We walked to one of the empty radio booths and he revealed to me something I was not prepared for. He had attended the woman’s Christmas party, as had a few other students I was familiar with. What they had seen there and what they had experienced had dumbstruck them enough that they seemed not to think I needed to know this, or were too scared of the consequences to reveal the horror to me.

Indeed, they had gone to the party at her place outside of town. The hostess without the most-est had given them the obligatory tour of the dwelling, which was normal until they all got to her bedroom.

There, on the wall, covering much of it, was a collage of photographs of me, taken at various places and events for the school paper and not used, but here blown up and assembled into a larger, more bigger picture of obsession -- obsession with me. While many of the guests thought this was weird, they said nothing, possibly to avoid upsetting the host, which is something you should avoid at parties. After the consumption of much alcohol, she took one of the pictures off the wall and began rubbing it on her privates, saying how much she wanted to fuck me and how we’d made out before and it was “totally awesome,” or something like that.

Jeff looked up at me, and I’m certain my face had lost all color, and since I am white, that’s not necessarily as impressive as the large brick that fell onto the floor – shat from my very insides.

It all came crashing around, Keyzer Soze-style, until I had the picture in my head – a picture I would most definitely not be rubbing against my privates. The letters, the “accidental” meetings at the lab, the puzzle-letters – all were signs of obsession. One make out session and some laughs had produced infatuation, for want of a much harder term to actually admit to at this point in the story.

“Are you shitting me?” was my response.

Now, my avoidance was filled with more than mere avoidance – it was filled with despair. This despair yanked at my soul with a tight grip, spilling my fears into the open for all to see. This was fucked up. I'd heard about this sort of behavior, but it was usually the other way around.

Now I ventured around campus even fuller of awareness, noting every time she seemed to show up in the same building I was in or at some event I was participating in. I noticed that I had lost my joy at my impending graduation. Attending classes now became a game of militant vegetarian and mouse, but this time, the vegetarian might eat the mouse, with a black bean soup for an appetizer. The weather seemed colder somehow, as if it was winter, which it was.

At night, I couldn’t sleep, for my ears were now aware of a noise that I had heard before, but which I now recognized:

putt, putt, putt. putt, putt, putt.

Was she actually driving by my house at night? To see if I was home? The answer, it turned out, was yes. I found myself listening for the sound of her farm truck before I passed into merciful sleep, looking out the window from a crouched position to see if – horror of horrors – her truck was out there. If there was a knock at the door, I looked through that hole-thingie to see if the visitor was her, knowing I would have to pretend to be either dead or too busy to actually answer it.

This went on throughout January, into February. I played avoidance, and she was winning, if the point of avoidance is to avoid, which it is. I finally realized that I was being Stalked. Stalked. Stalked. Stalked. Stalked. Stalked. I heard the

putt, putt, putt. putt, putt, putt.

of her truck in my dreams, and they became nightmares.
I decided I needed help. I contacted Darryl, a man who headed security on campus, and personal acquaintance from a few classes and asked what could be done about it.

“Well, is she really following you around on campus?”
“Yup. It’s really freaking me out.”
“I bet. Well, have you thought about getting some kind of restraining order, or something like that? Using legal means to deal with it?”
“No. I don’t really want to do that.”
“Well, we can do a couple of things. If you want, I can arrange it so that you have an escort around campus...”
“Really? You can do that?”
“Sure. It’s part of our job. You’d be amazed what kind of fucked up people want to scare their wives or girlfriends.”
“Jesus, this is fucked up.”
“Yeah, sorry. The other thing we can do is simply make sure there’s a security guard present by your classrooms when you come out, and not necessarily escort you around. They’d be there just to kind of watch out for things.”
“That would be cool.”
“No problem. Sorry, man.”

And, with that, I knew what was happening was far more than just a spurned person trying to hook up with me – it was Stalking. I was being Stalked. If man is the most dangerous game, and I am a man, then my dangerousness was being overpowered by her Stalkingness.

I continued to go to work and school. At the time, and now again, I worked in north of the City of Oklahoma, many miles from Rose State’s campus. I assumed she had no idea where I worked, and, thus, did not concern myself with her possible appearance.

I could not have been more wronger.

One Wednesday, about 30 minutes before I was to leave work for the day and head to a Jean Claude Van-Damme hockey/terrorist movie, I looked outside. Her truck was parked in the lot.

“Jesus Christ,” I softly uttered to myself.

The woman was still in the truck, waiting, waiting, waiting. And waiting.

“I do not fucking believe this.”
George walked up, a German immigrant who worked with me.
“Who’s that? Your girlfriend?”
“Oh, fuck no. I can’t believe this.”
How did she find out where I worked? I had never told her about my job. Eventually, it would be revealed that she’d used her – ummm- position to look up some stuff on the college’s computers, including my emergency and work numbers.

I decided confrontation would be my only chance here. I figured I was safe, since the building had lots of people in it who might help if I screamed loud enough. I clocked out early and walked up to our secretary.

“Hey, I’m going out to talk to someone. Could you watch out the window and call the police if anything happens?”
“The police?”
“Yeah, this witch has been following me around and somehow she’s found out I work here.”
“Want me to call them now?”
“No. I’m just going to walk to my car and leave. If she follows, I’ll drive straight to a police station.”

I walked out towards my car. Her truck door opened, and she got out. I tried to avoid contact, but when she got close enough I yelled:

“What the hell are you doing here?”
“Well, since you’re not answering my phone calls or ever calling me back, and since I can’t seem to catch you on campus, I just wanted to talk.”
“Do not come to work to see me again. Do you understand?"
“Well... I just wanted to talk.”
“Seriously, leave me the fuck alone. Okay?”

I got to my car/sanctuary and got in. I looked back. She got in her truck and drove off. I waited a minute to catch myself and stop shaking, and stared down at the steering wheel and dashboard. This was getting out of hand. I looked around again for her truck, and then drove off, looking backwards every time I could, waiting for the sound that now filled my head at night, regardless of its actual presence:

putt, putt, putt. putt, putt, putt.

I enjoyed Sudden Death as much as I could. There’s a really funny scene involving a fight between Van-Damme and a large penguin mascot in an arena kitchen that is awesome, but other than that, the film’s pretty pedestrian. I drove home, looking around, listening, hoping that she’d gotten the message.

At home, I continued my routine of looking out the window, listening for the

putt, putt, putt. putt, putt, putt.

of her truck, and peering out the door-hole thingie. I was not doing well. Coming off of a relationship that had become too painful to continue with and which I had gotten out of in an admittedly cowardly but necessary manner, I was emotionally and mentally vulnerable, and this was not helping. I had stopped going out in case she showed up at the same place I was, and even the weekend S&M sex club visits had lost their luster. The ass-spankings I provided were lackluster, probably. I don’t know, the ball gag kind of helps cut out any complaints. Do we really need to go into this aspect right now? I’m trying to vent here, okay? We can get into my time as a paid dominant later. Shit, that cat’s out of the bag. Anyways.

I began to feel as though I needed to talk to her employer. Before I did this, I decided to talk to Karen, a friend who taught at the college, to see if she knew who I needed to talk to. I went to her office and we chatted away. Outside, even though it was mid day, it was dark. Snow was beginning to fall, and the usual “will classes be cancelled” talk was starting to go around. It might get nasty out, they said, so we watched the snow fall from her office. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw the Humanities office door open. It was her, the Stalker, I mean. She sat down by the front door, making it so that if I left, I would have to go by her. I was ready to leave, by then. I told my friend what was happening, and she walked out of her office nonchalantly, in an attempt to size up the situation.

“She’s just sitting there. Of all the nerve.”
“I can’t take this much longer. What do I do? I don’t know if I should call security, hide and try to wait her out –“
“Hell, I’ll call security.”
“Hang on. Can you dial upstairs?” (to the lab, where I had a class later)
“Sure. Here.” She handed the phone to me as it rang. As luck would have it, class was cancelled. I was done for the day, and could leave. Good, I thought. The snow was coming down pretty hard, and everything outside was white, pure. Unlike this situation, which was not.

“Okay, I’d better do this.”

My friend told me she’d run interference, and “escort” me out of the office by walking with me. Hopefully, this would throw the Stalker off and I’d get away. As we headed past her and out the office door, towards the exit, we were followed. I exchanged a look with Karen and told her that if I didn’t call her later, to please call me and use the secret “ring once, stop, and then call again” signal we’d worked out so I’d know it was her and not the Stalker. I left out the door, and was followed.

Scrunch, scrunch, scrunch, my shoes went as they trudged on through the snow towards my car, which was parked in far Hyboria.

Scrunch, scrunch, scrunch went her boots as she followed.

She started to catch up.


I didn’t acknowledge.

Louder. “David!”

Head still down, coat closed tightly against my body, multi-colored scarf waving in the wind, all I could think about was that this was it. “She’s not even trying to hide it anymore,” I thought. I wondered if I should break into a run, or keep going and hope she would just get tired and give up. That didn’t happen.

Scrunch, scrunch, scrunch, scrunch behind me, but much faster. She was running to catch up.

I was truly frightened here – more frightened than at any time in my life. I really did not know what was going to happen next. My senses heightened, waiting for an attack that might surface: tentacles of black ochre wrapping around my very soul, non-Cyclopean geometry mingling with pervasive chills, a sack full of batteries. She had caught up by now.

I stopped. I figured if she was going to stab me or something, then, fine. It’ll at least be over. I honestly felt helpless. Tired. I gave up.
“What? What do you want from me?” I half-yelled, half-whined. I shrugged and felt my body deflate. This had exhausted me completely, and I just wanted something to happen. The constant getting up, looking out the window, staring out the door-hole-thingie, the constant listening for the

putt, putt, putt. putt, putt, putt.

of her farm truck had finally killed me.

“What is it?” I turned, snow still falling, faster now. I looked at her face. There was no expression on it except misunderstanding. She had no idea. No idea at all.

“I just wanted to talk to you, that’s all.”
“Please,” I pleaded, sanity starting to slip. “What do you want?” I said these words slowly.

Something happened. She seemed to straighten a bit. We both stood there in the falling snow, which was starting to get heavy, and began blurring the perfectly ordinary geometric buildings around us.

She stirred suddenly and did something I did not expect. She shook her head side-to-side slightly and looked at me.

“Relax, David. Sheesh.”

And then she walked off into the snow, her image blurring and disappearing from view. I stood there for a few seconds and then simply turned and walked to my car, got in, rested my head on the steering wheel, and started the car. I had a long drive home, and it would be longer because of the snow.

I never saw her again after that. Maybe something clicked in her. Maybe she had gotten tired of it, too. Maybe the helplessness and resignation on my face as I stared at her there in the snow finally told her that this wasn’t working, whatever she was trying. Maybe she saw my face and decided, “Sheesh. What a puss,” and decided I wasn’t worthy. Regardless, she was gone. It took a few days for me to realize this. I still looked around corners, still looked out the window, still looked out the peephole. After those few days, I realized it was over.

However, it wasn’t. It still isn’t, in some ways. Those “safety checks” I had developed were now habits. I kept looking out the window, the peephole, around the corners. Even when I moved to Norman, I found myself still doing them. I still do now. The whole time altered me. I changed into someone who lost the ability to get close to others, to avoid the possibility of this happening again. I became distant, and it took a long time for someone to break through. "Stalker’s" gone, I guess, probably living somewhere in the Orient, maybe meditating on her vegetable militancy and hopefully not thinking about me at all.

And the habits are all still there, 12 years later. I still wander in front of windows and look out like a sad, caged animal hoping someone will release it. I find myself walking up and looking out the peephole in the door for something that probably isn’t going to materialize, but which, deep down, I still think can. At night, I still hear the sounds of cars driving by, and listen for the horrid noise of her farm truck, its sounds confined to the repetition of a single, mad onomatopoeia of all too obvious source:

putt, putt, putt. putt, putt, putt.


As an addendum to this rambling shoggoth of a tale, I’d like to add one thing. What I really lost after all this, and which has never honestly returned, is Trust. Until this year, I don’t think I’d ever realized how the two events –bigoted, controlling girlfriend and Stalker, not to mention my own failures in past relationships with people, friends or otherwise – had destroyed my ability to do that.

One of the most important parts of any true relationship is Object Permanence, otherwise known as Trust, specifically, your ability to trust that when someone isn’t around, or isn’t reachable, that they’re still there for you. That is something that’s always been difficult for me, and these events have made it well-nigh impossible. It affects every relationship I have with people, and every move I make as a person.  And, of course, that lack of Trust is also a part of how I see myself. If you can’t trust anyone, that includes you. I hesitate before every sentence, every time I put something out there for people to see or read, I am concerned about communication and fear that what I write or say will never be what it is I mean it to be -- which in a post-modern world  makes it even more difficult, since all meaning can be and should be questioned. 

To lose such trust in yourself and everything in general makes life a horrible thing to live. You cry out for those moment of real sincerity – real, unbreakable and unmistakable, true moments when you can relax and allow yourself the beautiful opportunity to really let go of your self and accept someone else’s.

I wrote this as a Lovecraft parody because I wanted to try and find a metaphor (this was all symbolic? Really, Dave? REALLY??!) for the way you can be altered by events in ways that never leave you. Lovecraft’s protagonists may win a small victory, but they never can leave the experience behind. They are changed for the worse. And while the immediate danger may be over, the universe is full of other things that will snatch you up into its darkness and spit out the contents, chewed and desiccated. Even in the Role Playing game based on his works, you have a Sanity level, which, if you lose too much of it, means you lose your mind.

I am altered. I know this. I cannot help it. I have tried and I have failed and yet I try again. One thing I despise is the bullshit definition of insanity as “to repeat an action over and over, expecting a different result every time.” No. That is Life. Following that idea, then Life itself is Insanity, and it may be. Lovecraft’s “gods” are nothing more than infinitely powerful, mindless beings who do what they do because they simply do it. Those of us in the wake are buffeted around and try to ride out the tempest.  And *you* try surviving a hurricane and see if you don’t come out different through the other side.

And, something else that’s real and horrible. One thing that is not in the story, and which I left out as a politeness, is that I did have a girl friend at that time, at best we were FWB’s, but she was still someone I was close to. We’d both been hurt recently, and just needed some shelter for a while, and we did that for each other, even as this was happening, which she was aware of, and which she helped with just by being someone who demanded nothing and expected nothing but friendship and some fun.

She’s not allowed to talk to me anymore. Or her long time friends. (I say “allow” when I really mean “she’s made the decision to go along with someone else’s demands on her and her life”.) True, lasting relationships survive on Trust. When that trust is destroyed, nothing works again as it should. It is only the truly strong who can overcome such horror and begin again, and I know I am not a strong person anymore. I am tired. I am tired of being sad, of being alone when people are all around me, and I am tired of trying. Perhaps the meaning of all of the experiences related in the story is that the horror ultimately has won. No truck sound is needed to trigger my fears. All I need is the sound of my own voice.  Sometimes it can convince me otherwise, but I don’t trust that guy enough anymore to let it be.


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