Friend or Foe?

 

I have, as I’m sure all of you have, encountered some snaky people in my life. Unfortunately, it seems something no normal person can dodge. You are destined to meet and experience at least one. And if one is all you ever have to deal with, consider yourself lucky.

It seems I sort of have this sort of thing happening again. It’s very subtle, so much so that I wonder if I’m imagining it. I wonder if I am simply being paranoid, finding things where in fact nothing exists? It’s possible – I’m not brilliant or anything, nor am I without mistakes (a buttload of them) or flaws (an even bigger boatload of them) – yet I can’t quite shake this sense…of something.

Have you ever had someone in your life who seems to covet, maybe even crave what you have? Now it may be good, great or even not so great, but this person really seems to want it. Whether it’s a pink sweater or an easygoing friendliness with the mailman. You can almost see the craving in the eyes, hear it in their tone and words. Yet when you try to look at it directly, it seems to disappear out of view. (Anybody ever see that movie, Gaslight? I’m saying…)

Naturally, you chastise yourself, believing you are being overly sensitive, imagining motive that isnt there – giving that person the benefit of the doubt, while with yourself you will cut no slack.

Then you start to notice little things – they are suddenly using phrases that you use, making similar jokes, in subtle ways assuming your…I don’t know…is it style? personality? what? And it’s a sort of creepy Twilight Zone experience. First of all, who the hell would want to be me? you ask yourself. What the hell is there to covet? Who knows? Still, you can’t shake the feeling.

These folks also other funny little things. If they feel you’ve been ignoring them, they call or write complaining of it. Acting hurt or worried that you’re upset with them or don’t like them anymore. Honestly, after the age of 10, isn’t this a little strange? In my case, if one of my chums is upset with me I usually know and if I don’t I simply ask, ‘hey, did I piss you off or something?’ Isn’t that normal?

Anyway, I’m not even sure I know where I’m going with this post – maybe it’s a cautionary tale. Maybe it’s just ramble. But I’d say, beware of people who fawn a little too much at you. Beware of those who pursue you a little too often and enthusiastically. Be careful who you take into your confidence and introduce your friends to – because frankly, some people have more than one face and honestly, neither one is very pretty.

WC

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WC

What’s That Smell?

A few years ago I lived in a little cottage in a rather pastoral setting. There were several other little cottages on the property, all beneath a canopy of grape leaves. In the summer the grapes would ripen and there would be beautiful, deep purple clusters of grapes seemingly hanging in the air. The landlord, a crusty old coot from Hungary also liked to garden and there were rows and rows of fresh tomatoes, berries and peppers – all freely available to we little cottage dwellers.

So there we were all tucked away in this psuedo Tuscan atmosphere, with our grapes and our fresh veggies and little cottages. Mine being, of course, the ultimate writer’s garret. I could pretend to be Hemingway or at least Erma Bombeck. On warm summer nights, I’d prop open the front door to get in a breeze, since the cottage was woefully lacking windows. Still I loved my little space and my privacy.

Well, one night whilst I plopped on the sofa and watched television, I could swear I saw the frying pan dance. I had one of those open floor plans where the kitchen really was just a few feet from the sofa and the stove was definitely in plain sight.

I was puzzled. Now just how does a frying pan dance, I wondered. I shrugged assuming it was shadows playing tricks on my eyes and looked back at the television – but damn if it didn’t happen again. I got up slowly and tip-toed a little closer to the stove and eeek what did I see but a little mouse doing the boogaloo in my frying pan. (Can you say, throw that pan away?)

Naturally, we both screamed – he scurried off and I ordered my cat to attack. No deal. The cat was just a kitten really and not much bigger than the mouse and my dog was so old she barely noticed earthquakes. So, naturally I got the elimnator (the broom) and attacked the back of the stove and the walls and stuff to scare the little bugger out. Yep, didn’t work.

Next day I talk to the crusty old Hungarian about getting rid of the mouse. He acted like he didn’t understand english and so I went to the store and bought some mouse poison. I don’t really like doing stuff like that but hey – I couldn’t have the little vermin running around my house and nibbling on my toes or ears whilst I slept – so mouse poison it was. I place one packet behind the stove and one behind the sofa.

Every night I’d hear a frenzied, gleeful squealing and rattling of the platic bag. Apparently that was mousie coke based on his obvious enjoyment of that which would eventually do him in. Every morning, I’d peek to see just how much of this stuff he was eating – thinking any day now it’d be over. Well, believe it or not, it took several days. Now that mouse had quite an appetite. But finally one day I came home from work and there he was lying dead on my bath mat (yep pitched that too). Phew! that was over. Must remember not to prop door without babygate in it. All is right with the world.

So a couple of days later I’m sitting at my desk and ‘sniff-sniff’ what the heck was that smell? I looked under the desk, checked the trash – tried to remember if I was wearing dirty sweat pants and so on…but nothing. I went back to work. There it was again. That smell! I checked my armpits – was I going through some serious detox? Was I drinking too much water or not enough? Was the exercise tape really making me stink taht much.

I took a shower.

Sure enough the next day, it’s back again. What was it? What other horrible thing had crawled into my house? Where had the dog barfed or the cat peed? What the hell was that smell? I simply could not find the source.

Saturday morning, I got the bug to do a spring cleaning. I whipped out the cleanser and sos pads, the furniture polish, the window cleaner and finally the vacuum. Yep my little cottage was going to sparkle and shine. On went the vacuum and it went merrily about its business sucking up hidden dirt (and I hoped smells) and sand and rocks and whatever else me and the dog dragged in. Ooops had to move my big desk chair – now for as small as that place was I always insisted on having a big comfy leather chair, so it took up some room – but it was worth it. So move chair out of way and gasp! what do I see? Yep, my mousie’s dancing partner. There she was in all her white and brown speckled glory. And she was rightly stinking the place up. I could never find the source of the smell cuz it was right under my big fat ass the whole time.

So the moral to the story is, if you got one mouse than probably have two. And a dead mouse really stinks!

WC