Thursday, September 7, 2006


And suddenly, the streets are as dangerous as the proverbial nursery closet.
I was thinking of fears today. Not fear, but fears. The stuff childhood nightmares are made of. The things that lurk under the bed and sneak up behind doors and eat little kids. The things made up to keep you on the path of good. The parents' best friends.
I realized, to my chagrin (why chagrin? no idea) that I'd never had a terrifying childhood experience in my life. I've never had nightmares involving creatures richly endowed with tentacles, arms, legs, eyes, mouths and other appendages in the generous plural. My dreams have rather involved things like floods, earthquakes, lightning, loose electric wires, mad bulls and angry teachers (yes, i have issues, i'm aware).
Today I went out to buy some stationery, and added a new and overwhelmingly frightening monster to my meagre list.
Male. Creep.
Someone I've never seen before in my life; and I would know, I have an excellent memory for faces; came up to me as I was making my innocent and unconcerned way home.
"Excuse me", he said. I stopped. You do, you know, for polite persons. Woe betide my fondness for manners. Ted Bundy springs to mind rather forcibly at this point.
"Is your name..." he went on. I looked at him for an instant, and he went on, "I think we've met somewhere?" I was turning away even as I said "I don't think so.", and I hotfooted it home as speedily as I could without actually running, every nerve in my body tingling.

Now here's the point. How dared he? What in the entire universe made this person believe that he could walk up to a complete stranger and lie?? What in the world did he expect to get from it? Of course, my five month stint in the world of orkut tells me quite clearly that an exchange of phone numbers, meetings in coffee shops and various other mating rituals were probably in the offing, but seriously. Who'd trust someone who came up to you in a dark alley at half-past seven, and tried a lousy pick-up line that probably wouldn't even work if the girl were drunk?
Now, I doubt I'd have spoken to him if he'd actually known my name, but who knows? There is no saying what anyone else might have done, and no knowing what it might have led to. There is no knowing.
There are the dreams, though.
This is the kind of thought that keeps me awake at night. These are the dreams that I don't ever want coming true.
This is the kind of story that is thought in italics.
This is what this one was about.

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