Here is a story that was a major turning point in not only my life, but all Dancing Walkabouts going forward…
I was backing out of my spot at the local riverfront trail when an older gentleman ~(I’m only going to guess by my initial guesstimate) maybe late 60’s – early 70’s pulls up about 25 feet away from my car.
He motions for me to put my window down.
He was at a safe distance, older, “nice-clean” mature man.
Hell, I looked like I just came from the river soaked ~ no worries, right?
However, I only put my window down halfway (I’m not too keen on trusting totally to putting it down all the way for anyone).
He was getting ready to go over to the City Lake (where I crunched my ankle) which is also on the other side of the riverfront. ~
I immediately made a side note to myself that I thought that was kind of strange, but not really because it’s also normal to check out which walkabout area is more congested with people ~ or at least that is how I condoned why he was at the riverfront ~ if he was actually going back over to the city lake to do his walk…
He was laughing at all of the “kids” playing “poke a man” around the riverfront.
I looked around ~ YEP!
There were probably over 20, twenty-somethings walking in circles with their phones.
Did I mention I wear sunglasses (so people do not make direct eye contact and want to socialize in any way) and my earbuds are set tightly in my little ears until I get into my car?
Therefore, I am usually only seeing tunnel vision ~ feel me?
So I said “ha ~ at least they are getting out into the sunshine moving about!”
He said: “Yeah, but they are running into things.”
Me: “Well common sense should probably kick in before they do themselves any harm.”
During our conversation ~ I honestly could not tell you how long it was ~ my car was in reverse and my foot on the brake ~ because I thought he was just an older man having small talk and I was leaving ~ right?
This dude was S M O O T H E.
He manipulated the conversation so well and easily I didn’t know What the hell I still think happened…
You might think I walk around with a sour look on my face and growling most of the time (and inside I am), but in reality, I smile and say “hello” or “good morning/evening” to people as they walk by me!
My true inner spirit is a force of kindness towards others ~ complimenting them in some freaking way: “nice hair!” “great shoes..”
First, he starts telling me why he has to walk everyday ~
He has health issues: Open heart surgery, diabetes, and when he sits too long his feet go to sleep.
My response was, if I don’t get my walk in ~ my mood is so bad ~ I just feel so much better after being on my Dancing Walkabout!
My attitude, my health ~ heck I feel about 10 years younger!
Him: “Oh! You dance while you walk?”
Me: “Yeah ~ I use to sing out loud as well, but I don’t think other people around me enjoy it so I stopped.”
Ha, ha,ha (ever the comedian that I am)!
“Besides, it’s a great way to work out!”
Him: “Do you ever go to the City Lake to walk?”
Me: “I use to. I would run up and down all the stairs and hills over there until I crunched my ankle. Plus there is so much duck and goose shit over there it’s just better that I stay over here now.”
Him: “Yeah, I use to call it Sir Duck ShitsAlot” (or something of that effect, because now I was thinking: why is this old dude talking about me walking over there)?
Me: a fake “ha ha.”
Him: “So I see these kids attached to their gadgets and I am thinking, does anyone read any more?”
Me: “No kidding. I did not raise my kids with too many electronics;
I could not afford them plus, I wanted them to be active… ”
Him: “Yeah, my wife use to come out and walk with me as well.”
Me: “I hope she is okay.”
Him: “Oh yeah. It’s just we are both into different things right now…”
Me: “Well it is good you are both willing to step out alone or with others, and do your own thing ~ right?”
Him: “Well there are a lot of things we do separately.”
Me: “I would hope so.” (I am so totally gullible).
Him: “Well, about 3 years ago, my wife gave me permission to have
(not the word sex ~ but it was implied ~ or at least that is how I perceived it)
Me: “That is great ~ I just do not believe in crossing the lines of marriage. I am more than positive I do not think I could give permission to my ex to sleep around.”
Him: “Oh you are divorced?”
Me: ” I have raised my kids on my own….”
I was starting to pull away from the conversation but not entirely, because
(A.) I did not hear any alarms yet, but I saw flags ~ but I still was not scared
(B.) Nor did I feel threatened in any way.
Him: “I like to read a lot as I said before. Do you read much?”
Me: “Not too much other than my school books ~ I’m pursuing my education while I work full time.”
At that point we both looked over at my mesh yellow work vest hanging across the passenger seat of my car.
Him: “Oh! You drive a school bus? (not actually surprised or I could have been paranoid).
Me: “I actually push carts for a local department store.”
Him: “ Well I like to read… See, I can not get a total erection, but I can still have a climax.”
He did not say “get off,” “cum,” or “orgasm” like a pervert in my opinion would say.
Me: ” I am thinking maybe that could be why your wife might be okay with you doing things elsewhere…”
>I am very open-minded with people and conversations in general so at this time I still not not feel threatened or that our conversation was out of control or dirty <
Him: ” Oh no! I love my wife.
We went to the doctor and tried happy pills and everything.
She just is not interested.”
Me: ” Well, if you are having difficulty with an erection, I am sure she is questioning herself and her own attractiveness and self-esteem ~ see, we tend to think “it’s our fault” even though it could just be your health issues.”
I was truly trying to keep the sarcasm from rumbling from my words…
Also, I was still freaking out about him knowing I even did a Dancing Walkabout or that he was asking about the City Lake where I had fallen.
So I started taking in his attire and other important factors I might need to remember some day ~
Super coiffed hair (like a television personality or the evening news).
He had a hat “placed” on his head (STL Cards).
Silver/white hair (that just did not look real).
Sparkling blue eyes.
His truck was equally blue ~
Four-wheel Drive, chrome side-step ~ not brand new, but exceptionally well-kept (maybe 5 years old).
His fingers were well-manicured (odd ~ I do not believe I have ever seen any of the more “upscale” business men within this local German community who had a manicure)!
He was tanned and from what I could see he was maybe tall?
He had big, white,perfect teeth.
A Wrangler plaid green/tan checked shirt.
A diamond/gold wedding ring…
Everything about him was so out of place compared to his actual face and words…
Him: “So you have not been dating or seeing anyone?”
Me: ” No.”
Him: “Why NOT?”
Me: “Because I have had kids to raise and they are the most important part of my life. I will have my turn. Actually, I went on a date a couple years ago with an older fella. Well, I suppose we just met for dinner. I needed to see how I would do once I started to actually date again…
He was everything I did not think I actually wanted to date in a man ~ 10 years or so older than I am, he wore cowboy boots ~ I tell my kids every year when they ask what I want for my birthday and I say About a 35 year old.”
I think I am so damn funny.
Him: “So you went to dinner with this guy? How did it go?”
Me: “Actually it’s the best time I have had with the opposite sex without sex, drugs, or alcohol…
I really like him.”
Him: ” So, you do not have sex? Pardon me if I am being too personal or if you are embarrassed and excuse me if I am going over the line ~ but do you masturbate?”
Me: ” No! You are not embarrassing me!
I encourage people to speak their minds. I am comfortable with my being ~ including my sexuality. Have you crossed a line?
I am not sure yet… But to answer your question ~ I am still holding out for the older gentleman I had dinner with. It has been lovely talking with you but I do need to get back to work and you still need to get your walk in.”
I began driving in reverse again…
Him: ” Well, can I just ask you another question?”
He is now looking around ~ not like “is anyone watching me” but “are you seeing this?? She is not only not freaking out, but she is answering my questions!
Him: ” What if this guy is not what he is cracked up to be? What if he “does not do it for you?”
Me: ” He will.”
Him: ” Why do you think that?”
Me: “Why do you not think he will?”
Him: “What if he is done before you are?”
Me: “Just seeing him in front of me will already almost have me “there” so if we were actually in a position of clothes off and climbing aboard ~ I would already be there as well…
But really. I have to get going.” (as I continue to back up and leave).
Him: “Maybe we will see each other again down here and we can continue our lovely conversation and watch all these silly kids play “poke a man?”
Me: “Yeah maybe (like hell I say).
Him: “As a matter of fact ~ that is going to be a new nickname I am going to call you: “Poke a Man ~ poke a man in you and GO!
One way or another I am going to get into your panties…”
ME: “ No you will not! I told you ~ I am saving myself for the mature older gentleman.”
I started kind of laughing when I drove off ~ just happy to get away and think for a minute ~
What the HELL just happened?
He was driving right up behind me ~ his truck almost touching the back of my car.
He had to see the light bulb go on above the top of my head in my rearview mirror at the same time I did.
He backed way off, so I slowed down so I could see his license plates.
He almost stopped and I just continued driving very slowly hoping to get close enough to him.
He then ducked down a side street where I could no longer see him.
I wanted to drive directly home.
I was afraid he was watching to see where I lived.
I went to a gas station, then Wally World, then another grocery store, and another gas station ~ literally going 2 hours out of my way to go home because I was just that freaked out…
I posted about it on social media and…
Friends were telling me to call the police he could be a killer or rapist.
But it really felt like an interview or a quiz ~
Like I was being tested…
Him: ” Well, that is why I like to read.”
Before this incident I would post on social media about my Dancing Walkabouts ~ what music I was grooving to, the area I was walking at, and the weather.
As well as, little anecdotes about my walk (weird people, pets, wild life, etc)…
I sort of chalked it up as just another adventure in the day of a life for Ms. Mae and did not think any more of it.
Friends and family began leaving me messages about a man accosting women in their early 50’s at the riverfront in my home town ~ they saw on the local news ~ maybe it was the same man?
My response was that I was a wee bit upset that if it was him, why would he assume I was in my early 50’s?
Like I said ~ ever the comedian I think I am…
At this point, I removed everything and anything on all social media that showed my face or my children.
People were literally tagging my name in articles and posts that showed images of the man and the news story.
Even the local sheriffs department contacted me saying they had read my story on social media and wanted to know if I wanted to file a report.
What would I have filed a report about?
There was no physical contact, his words were careful and not exactly offensive and I participated in the conversation willingly.
The man never got out of his truck nor did he even ask if I would put my window further ~ let alone give me the feeling I was being forced to continue our conversation or move closer to him.
I was already feeling constricted and pushed out by the county I lived in since I called the EPA, health department, and ARC over the flooded black mold hell hole I lived in and the fact I filed an insurance claim against the city department because I fell in a hole at Sir Duck ShitsAlot ~ you think I am going to put my neck in a noose AND cut the rope to hang myself?
Besides, I honestly do not know if the man I met was the same as the man that was actually arrested after a physical altercation with another woman he supposedly accosted.
Remember I thought he was wearing a disguise or something?
If I had to pick the man out of a lineup or by his mugshot ~ no way would I have picked the man the local newspaper, television, or social media was sharing!
Except maybe his bright blue eyes…
Later, I read he was released from jail and he was put on unsupervised probation For a year…
I have to say, unfortunately ~
It does not always pay to be a leader and it is okay to follow the story quietly along as it unfolds.
Without a doubt I pay more attention to my surroundings than I ever have ~ more than just the color of the sky or foliage around me.
However, it was ONE of the very last times I ever did my Dancing Walkabout on the riverfront trail…
BE SAFE out there PeePs!
One never knows when or where a surprise might come out at you…
In the meantime…
As Always ~
~ Ms. Mae