Stanky Stalker – The Paula Story

     Having advanced in age over a solid decade since this appalling incident, I can see where my fresh naiveté and willingness to believe the best in people, particularly the opposite sex, probably led to the enfolding of events. All said and done, I really have only myself to blame, although this recounting will no doubt nip the mangy hands of those who may have helped to a greater degree than they did. I must also add that where it has been my policy to use full names in order to draw out vain, shadowy creatures from our past doing Google searches on themselves; in this instance I shall decline for I have no need whatsoever to be contacted by her once again, even if only though a half-witted comment on a blog entry.

            Not long after we moved into Princeton, I discovered one of the great marvels of telephony. Through the incredible advances made in automated services, it became possible for people to record and answer classified ads much more efficiently than in the bad old newspaper days, so adroitly crooned about by Rupert Holmes in his classic ‘Pina Colada’ song. For someone such as myself, hard of hearing and quiet of voice, the bar scene was always a bust and an impossible conversation environment. As I worked food service each morning and thus reeked of fries and omelets though the school day thereafter, meeting coeds in an academic setting proved difficult as well. Finally, my night gig at the comic shop exposed me to only the most socially decrepit of prospects. Even I was not that hard up! An inviting advertisement in Buffalo Beat or Artvoice brought romance or even dalliance prospects right to my door.

            My own voice recording, I thought, was cleverly worded and expressed just the right amount of masculinity with a dash of vulnerability thrown in. As I understood it, this was an aphrodisiac to the fairer sex. My endeavor met with success as without paying the premium price to listen and respond to female ads, my own received enough responses to save enough cash to actually take some of the more inviting prospects out on dates. Now, one of the best aspects of this scheme was that my friends and cohorts knew nothing of it and assumed I had somehow attained the power of a modern suave Casanova and were duly impressed. As such things play out, I was eventually found out, but it was a good gig while it lasted. In any event, my social standing increased to some degree and my Saturday nights were no longer strictly limited to ‘Adventures of Pete and Pete’ marathons with Aaron.

            Paula, our title heroine, was one such respondent to my ad and one of the first. I say this because the experience with her that I am about to relate, although appearing as a cautionary tale, in no way dissuaded me from further pursuing this line of approach to dating. It did, however, allow me to develop well honed detection skills to guard me against such enjoyable traits as ‘stalky’, ‘skanky’, and ‘bat-shit crazy’. My radar was still in the conception stages when she left me a very friendly message inviting me to cal her. Call her I did! Our first conversation was excellent, from my point of view, as she laughed at my jokes and marveled at the tall tales of the Comstock days of which we are all now familiar. In the true Buffalo synchronicity of one degree of separation, she was a regular at Rocky Horror and claimed to know Dan; a ringing endorsement if I ever heard one. The coincidence did save me from explaining Dark Pistacio as she was already familiar and tickled that I was he. Explaining ones penchant for dressing as an evil clown on weekends is always treacherous business with females as it has been found to radically decrease chances for a second date and universally prohibits even a go at first base. Her having seen me only in poorly applied clown makeup harassing show goers, and still willing to meet me one to one should have been the first warning sign.

            I met her on a warm summer day down by the river (which became the official story of where we actually met instead of the phone ad), I having borrowed my fathers car to do so. She was at the appointed meeting place beneath the whale atop Old Man River. Her appearance, although not completely matching the very favorable verbal description I had been given, was not a direct medusa comparison as I envisioned. In any case, I approached and identified myself. Her reaction was to immediately give me a big hug as if overwhelmed at seeing me again for the first time. I was flattered by the reaction. We spent some time walking and talking and I agreed to drive her home as she claimed to have taken the bus there. We didn’t stay long at her place, which was quite slovenly, the mess blamed on the absent and apparently bitchiest of room mates. Paula was already expressing intense desire to move away from there at the first opportunity.

            Contrary to all first date convention, she then took me to her parents to meet them. Her father was a doctor and they had a palatial place in East Amherst, which was surprising considering the squalor she abided in. They seemed amused at my presence, which I took at the time to be due to my complexion; several shades by far the lightest in the room. In retrospect I find it more likely it was knowledge of their darling daughter. When we parted, she expressed how much she would truly miss my presence and I was again flattered beyond all expectation. Where we had met that afternoon, we already made plans to get together that very evening as she wanted her friends to meet me, and I found it good opportunity to have her meet mine.

            We decided to have a small soirée at my set of bricks on Princeton.  Organizing an impromptu party was not my forte and I recall having only Dan, Jeff Death and perhaps a few others drop by. Aaron made a brief cameo with Matt, but decided to depart once he saw who was over. This was slightly after the milkshake event and Aaron in response had pledged Dan’s destruction as the root of all evil. It may also have been that he found out Dan’s generous provisioning him with glasses of cool water did not originate with sink fare, but toilet. In any event, he was soon gone.

            I have since found that women at social events prefer to mingle rather than mash, or as Paula put it, ‘suck face’, but she was the obvious exception. My self image though the course of the day rose steadily from loner with a phone to radiant Adonis of desire. That someone, who after only 2 or 3 conversations and a daytime date, could become so powerfully infatuated with me inflated my heretofore shriveled ego to unprecedented bounds. I knew deep in my basal ganglia that I was getting lucky that night. My animal instinct proved right on the money, but that is all I will say regarding that.

            As a resting conqueror and finally hormonally drained, I did begin to question the nature of what was happening. I had nothing yet to complain of, (who would?) but a slight nag tickled me at the base of my spine. No matter; no rings were purchased or true commitment made, so why not enjoy the ride? At her insistence, she accompanied me that next weekend to a barbecue at my parents where she was introduced to my extended family. Although polite and respectful, her presence did not garner the approval of the assembled mass and once again, I assumed this to be a product of the older generations’ phobia regarding cross cultural mingling. Partially true, perhaps, but I allowed the perception to blind me from more relevant observations of her possessive manner, especially so young into the idea of relationship. A young fool I was, assigning my own blindness to the sighted above me.

            For the two weeks following the barbecue we had only phone contact. She had abandoned the never seen queen of all bitches, and moved into an apartment in Niagara Falls with a lesbian couple who quickly became heirs apparent to the former roommates’ crown. Extended nightly conversations regarding this began to wear me down, and in the mirror I saw less of the mighty king and more of a horse’s ass. Nevertheless, I obediently continued to take her calls. A weekend date got cancelled due to problems with my father’s car; always a risk in dating across distance and neither party having the financial power to acquire wheels. Prior to the following weekend, I decided that watching the new Pete and Pete with Aaron would actually be preferable to her company, even with the expressed guarantee of action (such was the quality). I let her know the car was unavailable and kept the conversation short. Her planning thus began.

            I managed to dodge her calls for a few days by screening though the machine. Aaron, however, was loath to lie and handed me the phone in grim silence one day even after I specifically asked him to promote my absence in case she called. I resolved to begin a half-assed ‘let’s be friends’ conversation when she stole my thunder by announcing plans to move to Las Vegas and begin life anew. I was ecstatic and probably showed it though my enthusiastic encouragement. It was clear this was not at all the reaction she had hoped for, but had planned for it nonetheless. “Wouldn’t it be nice if we could say goodbye to each other by me staying with you for the week before I go?” Terrified at the prospect, excuses rolled off my tongue. A rigidly enforced agreement with Aaron regarding guests was touted as my best reason. He always stood in as an excellent scapegoat in his absence. She whined disappointment, but I would not budge, such was my staunch commitment to the rigidity of house rules. She ended the conversation by saying if worse came to worse; she could just hide under the bed when he was home. I gave a half hearted laugh and found excuse to get off the phone. I slept soundly having dodged that bullet.

            I found that dodging a single bullet is no guarantee of survival if the shooter has a full clip and is willing to compensate for the first miss. It was a Friday morning, and I decided to take the day off, as I knew Aaron would be gone all day and I wanted to take advantage of the place to myself. I was lying in bed smelling the morning air come in though the window and listening to the birds sing to the dawn. The singing sounded suspiciously like my name, and after a few repeats, I stuck my head out the window. There on the front lawn of the apartment stood Paula, surrounded by all her shit. She saw me, so there was no hope of avoidance, and besides, she had all the supplies necessary to set up camp right there and wait me out. She was in tears and I fell to the bait and went down. The lesbian couple, in a reported jealous rage, had ejected her from the premises for no good reason. She had then walked, with her full complement of gear, all the way from Niagara Falls to my apartment though the course of the night. I helped her take her things up. It took 2 trips.

            The official story remained the same; that she was departing, somehow, to Vegas in about a week, and entered the same plea to stay in the mean time. I stood my ground, in theory anyway, and said she needed to find other accommodations. She began a half hearted calling around, but instead of finding alternate arrangements, organized a gala party to be held that very night in her honor. The attendees were the usual gang, Knaus, JP, Dan, and the dregs of Rocky, plus her friends. Aaron and Matt again appeared briefly and once again departed, not to be seen again until the saga was complete. Bastard! I took the few opportunities possible to discretely question her friends regarding their availability to host her. Two of them seemed willing and I then relaxed, confident they would depart with her that very evening. To facilitate the process, I gave her money to go to Denny’s with her friends and the Rocky folk after the party. I used the time alone to ensure her things were arranged in the living room for easy pick up and retired to bed. A pounding on my door some hours later showed her to have been dropped off alone.

            The next 2 days were a dimly recalled nightmare. Although I was a insistent taskmaster on having her call around to friends and family, by some coincidence in the outliers of probability, all of them were either in the process of moving or remodeling that very week and could not accommodate her. This included the 2 friends I questioned, both of whom apparently forgot the state of chaos at home when they talked to me. My frustration was compounded by her incessant need to be very close, each and every moment of the day.  Calling for help or advice was impossible, as she was always within touching distance. The worst condition was that of her breath. She was a heavy smoker, and enjoyed spicy and garlicky foods, all of which had a compounded effect that manifested in an overpowering case of halitosis. I subtly suggested she brush her teeth at one point, to which she expressed regret that her toothbrush was never rescued in her quick departure. In a food run to Tops I gallantly and in full self interest, purchased her a new one, but it went unwrapped on the bathroom counter. It seemed that her attempts to kiss me increased proportionally to how rank her foul hole of a mouth had become and I could take it no longer.

            On the third day, I somehow managed to convince her that she stunk enough (and she did) to warrant a shower. When in there, I took the golden opportunity to call my mother for advice and confessed the whole story. She knew it at once; as such knowledge is passed often between women and not often shared with men. My father was dispatched immediately to come pick me up, with a cover story that my grandmother needed my assistance without delay. When Paula emerged from the shower, sweeter smelling of skin but still the stank of grim death about her face, I explained that I had to depart for just a little while, and that my grandmother, old and mistrustful of strangers, insisted I come alone. She managed to plant one more upon me before I quickly exited to the awaiting car. I can smell it still.

            At the counter at my parents’ house I was given education as to the wiles of desperate women. I was stunned, having no conception, even 10 minutes prior, that I was being played for the world’s biggest rube. As if told by the Ghost of Christmas Future, it was laid out how she would gain permanent residence, likely drive Aaron out all together, and ‘somehow’ manage to become impregnated despite our best attempts to avoid it. I think Scrooge’s vision of his own headstone was less personally disturbing. What could I do to change my ways and avoid this horrendous fate? Simple. Raise the ante and call.

            My mother called over to Princeton, and Paula, feeling entitled as a full resident and not guest, picked right up. My mother explained that my grandmother was going though a hard time that required me to stay with her for several days. She expressed a deeply sympathetic understanding to Paula’s situation, and rather than leave her alone with a highly irritable Aaron, said my father was on his way to pick her up and that she could stay with them, in a room of her very own, for as long as she needed. True to the word, my father was on his way before the phone was hung up. My mother offered the prediction that he would return alone, and was justified in the correctness of it. By the time he arrived there, not even 10 minutes later, Paula was already being picked up by someone else.

            Hyper alert, I returned to the apartment that evening, and breathed a sigh of relief to find it unoccupied save for a recently returned Aaron. Needless to say, I was right pissed at being played for such a patsy. Performing a detailed search of the premises, I found each and every item she planted, including clothes in my drawers, makeup in our bathroom, and odds and ends tucked here and about. Her conveniently left behind booty was placed in a bag in the hallway, for I’d be damned if she would step foot inside again.

            The next day she called and was surprised to get me, having bought the story in full that my mother served up. I kept it simple, told her she could not come back, and that whatever existed between us was broken and no more. She sure didn’t take that well! She insisted on coming over despite my promise to not answer the door. She was over in moments, as to my dismay I found she was staying at an aunt’s right around the corner on NFB, a 5 minute walk away. Finding her belongings in the hall, I could hear her curse through the door. She knocked loudly several times, but I would not even extend the courtesy of a well shouted ‘go the fuck away’.

            The next month was hell. I stood firm in my anger and resentment at being the wronged party, but the moral high ground is no shelter from a well conducted psychological onslaught. The phone never stopped ringing even when Aaron agreed to participate by putting his legendary rudeness to the cause each time she was lucky enough to have him answer. She also believed in the random pop over, banging on the door over and over again. On one occasion, I was sitting at my desk and silhouetted against the shade. She spotted me, told me as much, and shouted at me though the window. I kept perfectly still, hoping she would somehow draw the conclusion that I had acquired a mannequin and installed it in that very place. Most frightening, Aaron once opened the door to some guys who were looking for me. I kept a low profile that month, always varying the times I came and went, the routes I took to work and back, and the places I would frequent. In the end, salvation came from Death.

            To my everlasting delight, I found that the inscrutable Mr. Jeff Death had always had quite a thing for Paula and was even jealous at my good fortune for landing such a prize. Dan provided me the best possible present by conveying Paula’s available and desperate status to Jeff, who immediately jumped at the chance to be her knight gallant. Just as her relatives on NFB were tiring of her presence, Jeff came in with an offer that she grudgingly accepted instead of make a last frantic run at my door. He took her out to his desolate farm in Batavia where she abided for some weeks until she could stand it no more. Glorious jubilation filled me the day Dan reported that Jeff had given her half his paycheck and put her in a trucker’s cab, which was bound for Nevada. The next day she tried to collect call me from the road, but I declined to accept the charges. I never saw her again, though the horror remains with me always.

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4 Responses

  1. Mike I hate to say, but we all knew you were using a dating service. Aaron heard you on the phone and told us about it.

    Yes, Jeff had always a thing for the fat women. There was a party over at an apartment. She was there upset at being so horribly treated. She made several nasty comments on the size of Mike’s member and hit on me, which I promptly warned off. She ended up going with Jeff though. He lamented how she had taken advantage of him, and he never even got laid. I think that was the kicker.

    There is more to the story though because she came back about 4 months later, with a finacee. Some dimwit hick she had bamboozled with salty breath and open thighs. He left her though. Apparently he rode off from where they were staying one night, on a bicycle, and was never seen again.

  2. I had a number of comments that came to mind as I read this, but it is too horrible a tale to hear, much less live through. My condolences MIke.

    The first sign was she was a Rocky Horror regular, and meeting her parents on your first date was a kick in the balls.

    The dating service did provide me with a fair amount of amusement and anger. Amusement in the afore mentioned Superman S shaving in Wolf’s chest, the trail size bottle of Nair de-hairification of said Wolf, and the time I came home ot find Mike passed out in front of the TV in a dress! I awoke the next morning to Mike already gone, and a sign on the door:

    “I’ll explain when I get home. DO NOT TELL ANYONE!”

    This more than outweighed the infuriation of the 2AM (Wednesday night) called from date line women demanding I wake Mike up as they had scheduled a call. Wolf is a VERY sound sleeper, and will not wake up for anything, though he sometimes “plays dead” to no end to avoid situations.

  3. Ah yes, I remember scheduling those late night calls, confident that my living roommate would serve as an adequate alarm. 🙂

    The other incident wasn’t a dateline adventure, but a poorly considered participation in a Jen with the tongue scheme. I wonder whatever happened to her? In any case, that tale is beyond the auspices of this blog as agreed upon in the ground rules.

    I’m surprised the drinking of toilet water wasn’t commented on! Or was that too horrible to revisit?

    Finally, for the record, for all Paula’s maligning thereafter, she could give Sue the Boot a run for her money.

  4. Was there seriously toilet water given to Aaron to drink?

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