Stalking is an emotionally charged word.
The trouble with writing about it, in a personal context as opposed to a general or societal one, is that it will most likely encourage more…stalking. So I realize that even using the word might result in attracting former, would-be, or those inclined to be stalkers. So yeah. Somewhat counter productive. Or conflicted. But has that sort of thing discouraged me in the past? Hell no. So.
Yesterday at the bar I received a piece of mail. An anonymous piece of mail. See accompanying photo. Once upon a time I might’ve been able to at least figure out what city the letter came from based on the postmark. But in the 21st century there are no more postmarks and all the sleuthing I did failed to find a way to glean that info. The handwriting on the envelope might be an indication but I don’t recognize it.
Among the many things that are odd about this is that there actually is handwriting. Well, printing. Why bother with the “ransom letter” jumble of fonts on the letter and then address the envelope by hand? But more curiously who would take the time? And why? First, a few digressions.
In answer to the question posed by the letter, I would have to say, um neither. The blog post the letter refers to states quite clearly that I have no past loves who could be called “the one that got away.” And who, precisely, might constitute “the ones that never were?” Never were? Does this mean…every man in the world? Every man I’ve ever met? Or met and never dated? Dated and never fucked? Fucked and never saw again? I have no idea.
If the purpose of this letter was to provoke thought, it has succeeded. But hey, I’m always thinking. If the purpose was to creep me out, mission also accomplished. And cause me consternation? Yup! See, I have never been a fan of anonymity. In any context. My first pseudonym was for Selwyn Harris’s Happyland fanzine; I came up with one upon his request. But it was only used once. And I’m pretty sure that I used my real name in the accompanying bio. When I published my fanzine, Porn Free, I invented my EditrixAbby pseudonym but it wasn’t something I hid behind, it was more a “title.” I’ve always argued for personal transparency, believing that if you were doing something you were so ashamed of that it required a false identity, perhaps you shouldn’t be doing it.
When people comment on this blog anonymously, I think it’s chickenshit. If I don’t know you, you don’t need to hide. And if I do know you, why would you want to? Are you that scared of me? Of my purported “supporters?” Contrary to recent commenters who think I can’t tolerate people who disagree with me, I have lifelong friends with whom I often conflict. Seriously. Why does anyone need to be anonymous?
This person, whoever they are, clearly has too much time on their hands. Anyway, back to the stalking topic.
On my trip west for the holidays, I got together with E., the woman who found me through her admittedly somewhat stalkerish methods (and her consequent comments on this post). She’d experienced a less-than-pleasant liaison with my ex and, when he told her about his “estranged girlfriend in New York City,” she wanted to find out more about me. This resulted in an online acquaintanceship that has since become a brick-and-mortar friendship, as well as a mutual admiration; she reads my blog, I read hers. She mentioned that her blog had recently received a number of hits from a reader in Gerlach, NV. Well, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out who that reader is: our common ex. (Given that there are only about 200 people in Gerlach and that the chances of any of them randomly finding her blog are probably zero, a fairly reasonable deduction.) Why on earth he’d be reading her blog — STILL! Lo, these years later! — was a source of amusement for us both. And it made me wonder if perhaps, in his endless idle hours in Nowheresville, Nevada, he was also still reading this blog.
A bit of background: Over the years of our relationship, this man complained quite a bit about his “stalkers.” When I eventually befriended his previous girlfriend (the one before me, that is), she told me she had been trying to reach him because the collection agencies that were after him were driving her crazy and his debt was screwing up her credit. They had co-signed for a car together. She merely wanted him to remove his name from the papers. (And probably do something to redirect all those collection agencies! Not to mention take away all his belongings he’d left behind in her home.) His interpretation of her attempts to reach him for perfectly legitimate reasons as “stalking” seem laughable in retrospect. I will admit that he says — and does — things to cultivate an eternal psychic connection with him. (Which is, of course, why I was reluctant to write this. Best not to feed the troll! But in the interest of over-sharing…)
When I started blogging in the fall of 2011, this man was among my readers. He commented — and not anonymously. His irrational “fear of stalking” was probably why he blocked me on Facebook yet I wondered why he would spend his time, more than a full year after our “breakup,” keeping tabs on my life. Not that he had anything to worry about, since any stalking behavior was in his head. Well, except for all his own stalking behavior.
But back to this odd, anonymous note. I am, admittedly, super curious. And, perhaps foolishly, flattered. I mean, someone out there took the time to craft the note, print it out (on a color printer!) and slap 45¢ of postage onto the hand-addressed envelope. How special I must be! How valuable the pearls of wisdom I share here must be to this person! Well, that’s what I’m gonna keep telling myself!
[An interesting cyber-aside: WordPress often suggest photos to accompany your blog. For this particular post, WP offered an interesting selection, including two photos of me that Danger Ranger shot at the Golden Spike ceremony, 2008. Precisely why this is extra creepy, beyond the usual “the interwebz knowz stuff and that’s creepy” is possible fodder for a future post. The photos appear below.]