Friday, April 13, 2007

can’t knock ‘em out, can’t walk away

The bus stop has become quite the social scene for me. Since I frequent the same bus stops daily, I have gotten to know my fellow bus riders well. In fact, I have met most of the neighbors I know by talking to them while waiting for the bus.

There’s a particular older man who waits for the bus almost always at the same time I do. His name is Gerald. And he’s in his 50s or 60s. And he wears glasses and his dark hair is thinning. And I wish I knew he last name so that I could tell the world that he’s creepy. However, he wasn’t always creepy.

In fact, I’ve always thought of Gerald as just a lonely older man who liked to talk. And talk he did. I found out that he lives alone, has never been married, and his relatives don’t live any where near him. I felt kinda sorry for him. He obviously felt that he needed someone to talk to and I was happy to be a willing listener. Why? Because I felt sorry for him (can’t drive that point home any harder). So while he informed me about his lonely life, I filled him in on mine—my very-happy-and-in-love-with-my-boyfriend life. It’s not like I made a point to mention Jesse. It’s just that Gerald would often mention things that reminded me of Jesse. For example, Gerald sometimes meets up with his friends to play poker. Jesse is an excellent hold ‘em poker player. So I would go on and on telling Gerald what a great poker player Jesse is and what makes him so good.

I don’t at all regret talking about Jesse and, in fact, I’m glad that I did. Although it was not my intention, I thought I had inadvertently sent the message that I am not available. Unfortunately, someone didn’t get the message.

Last week, I got on the bus home like I always do. I had spotted Gerald out of the corner of my eye right before boarding. He appeared to be waiting for a different bus. As soon as I settled into my seat on the bus, Gerald came in and sat next to me. “How are ya?” he asks, happily. “Tired,” I replied. Gerald motioned to put his arm around me like I needed comforting and I looked at him as though touching me would instantly hasten his death. He thought better of it. We talked about the weather. We talked about the start of the baseball season. We talked about the cherry blossoms. These are all very generic and safe topics for discussion with a relative stranger. He told me about how he was playing poker again that weekend and I told him about how Jesse and I play and how good Jesse is.

We got off the bus and we kept talking about the cherry blossoms. We walked past where I assumed he lived. Right before I crossed the street to go the complex I live in, I hesitated, assuming this was good bye. Apparently, I was wrong. He ended up walking me to my building (and since I wasn’t sure where he lives, I assumed maybe he lived on my block). I stopped a few yards from my building and the conversation instantly became uncomfortable when he asked, “I was wondering if maybe you’d like to go for a cup of coffee sometime.” Hmmm…part of me thought he just wanted someone to talk to since he was so lonely and part of me thought he was asking me out. I gave him the benefit of the doubt.

I fumbled through my bag pretending to look for a business card. I knew I didn’t have any on me. So I said, “Next time I see you, I’ll be sure to give you a card.” Gerald suddenly grew some balls and replied, “Actually, that’s not going to be good enough. Why don’t you write down your number for me and I’ll call you.” Damn it. With hesitation I replied, “Um, ok” and proceeded to write down my sister’s cell number on the sheet of paper he provided. He looked at the paper and confusion set in. “9-4-9*? What’s 9-4-9?” he wondered. I answered, “It’s California. I don’t have a land line.” Nervously, he asked, “Well, do you have a local number?” “Just my work number,” I said. After I told him that I shouldn’t be getting any personal phone calls at work (which is not necessarily true), Gerald moved closer to me and said, “Well, don’t worry. I promise to be discreet.”

Suddenly, at the mention of the word ‘discreet’, I stopped giving Gerald the benefit of the doubt. He was asking me out. And it was gross. I proceeded to write down my work number on his paper (I know I shouldn’t have), telling myself to make sure to tell the receptionist at work the next day to have all of my Gerald calls put straight into my voice mail. I was definitely not pleased or comfortable at this point when Gerald decides to tell me, “Every time I watch you cross the street with your little legs to get to the bus stop every morning, it’s just so cute.” EWWWWW! I had to leave before I threw up. I tried not to focus on the tuft of dark hair growing out of the tip of his nose as I told him, “Well, I better go. So yeah, maybe we can go out for coffee and maybe Jesse could come so you could finally meet him!” Gerald replied, “Ummm…yeah, I don’t know about that.” Get the hint, dude!

Ok, I realize that I totally brought this on myself. I should’ve just said no from the beginning. But I honestly thought he just wanted some company not a date. I haven’t seen him since then. Perhaps, by some act of God, Gerald actually reads blogs. And maybe he’ll come across this one. I want to use the power of this blog to say,

Gerald, don’t you dare call me. And if you do, you’ll regret it. Because I promise you, I will speak my mind and it won’t be pretty…for you.


lesser being of leisure said...

It's amazing how (some) guys think that because you're talking to them (ie: being a normal, friendly person), that means you want to sleep with them.

The male/female brain: wired soooo differently..

yummy411 said...

gross goofy guy gerald! what are you going to do the next time you are at the busstop?

i would tell him to lose my number and that i feel uncomfortable talking to him. you have to say it! i don't want you being harassed and followed home! that's so creepy!

lizzie said...

LBOL--yes and usually those are the kinds of guys that you would never be interested in sleeping with.

yummy411--don't worry. i will be telling him how i feel if i see him. we've somehow missed each other every day since that happened which may or may not be a coincidence.