Monday, October 16, 2006

Weirdos Nutballs and Me

Why are all the nutballs attracted to me? Or so it seems – they often flock my way.

When I first moved into my apartment a year ago, the guy a few apartments down from mine came over to say hi and introduce himself. I thought it was a nice gesture and it is good to know one’s neighbors.

He soon began approaching me often, to hang out, and talk. He was trying to be my friend. I thought that was nice, and tried to be his friend too.

We hung out, went out to bars and restaurants occasionally, he even met my immediate family and some friends. Things were okay, though he seemed to have a few oddities about him. But hey, none of us are completely normal, so I let it slide.

Some of his odd character traits were even impressive – wherever we went, he managed to chat up some member of the opposite sex. He is single, and he was hitting on these women – and he even showed some progress. Although he never got any serious dates out of these conversations, he did make these women smile and laugh, which isn’t all that bad.

Still, he had some oddball ideas, which were all the more scary because he was serious in these ideas. One idea he had, was for me to sell my unused parking spot to someone else to make money. Obviously, this is wrong and I didn’t do it – it isn’t my parking spot to sell, not to mention it would give some stranger access to our building. Still, this character was quite serious in this endeavor – he even had some one lined up for me to sell my parking spot too.

Another brainchild of his was to join him at work. He took a job in some call center, working for not even half what I make in my daily job. He said I should give him a resume and join him – it was fun and easy work.

I did some call center work years ago and never liked it. They pay crap, treat their staff like crap, and most people who work in call centers get out of it as fast as they go in. The turn-over in those jobs is outrageously high, mainly because it just isn’t a nice normal nine to five gig. Call centers usually try to catch people when they are at home, so the hours are usually when most people are at home. Which means the hours of work are usually when your friends and family are free, so if you work in a call center, you never get to see them – because you are working.

Most call center jobs are held by teenagers, the college or university students, or the working poor. So, if you’re over 25 and you work in a call center, chances are you have skipped out on any chances of having a productive life – because you are the working poor.

So, naturally, I despise call centers and would never work in them again. I didn’t voice my distain for call centers with my friend, as he seemed to really enjoy his job, but I did make it clear I wasn’t interested.

Now, if he was a friend, he should have accepted my answer. Nope, he kept on selling his job, and asking me to give him a resume. I kept telling him no thanks – I think it is great that he loves his job so much, but I just wasn’t interested.

For a whole month, every time I’d run into him, he’d ask me for a resume. He sometimes even seemed mad. A couple times he told me “I don’t see why you just don’t give me a resume.” Why should I give someone a resume for a job I am not interested in?

This went on for a month. I started to avoid him as I really didn’t want to get into another discussion about why I wasn’t going to give him a resume. The situation got so bad, I even asked a group of strangers on an online community what to do. Imagine asking strangers how to handle someone who claims to be your friend.

Then, one day, he comes on over – unannounced as always – and tells me things aren’t going so great at work. They are starting to put pressure on him to make more calls and it is starting to get to him. I am relieved, as now I will not be hounding me to hand in a resume.

I think the issue is done, and let him in, to join me and my brother. We watched a movie on the movie network, had some cake, talked, and joked around. It was nice.

Then he asked me for money.

He didn’t ask for a lot of money – only $40. It isn’t the money that bugs me -- $40 isn’t much, you can’t even buy much these days for $40. It is more the type of person he is – needy. Too needy.

I moved into my place a year ago this month – so I have known this person a whole year already. In all that time, he has never been stable financially. He has gone from one McJob to another, trying desperately to make ends meet.

In many ways I feel for him – I do. But in many others I really can’t stand him. If I knew him for many years, and he just happened to have a bad one, fine, I’d understand. But I only have known him for a year, and he has never demonstrated the potential to be anything to anyone in all that time. He’s been living off the kindness of his friends, because he hasn’t had a real job.

It is okay – even understandable – to struggle your first few years out on your own. But I’ve been living on my own for quite some time. I have gone through some rough periods where I wondered where my next pay cheque would come from. But I have always bounced back – managing to get work in my field.

I distance myself from those who mooch off others because eventually they will mooch off of me. I can’t afford to pay for someone else’s life – I have my own to lead.

So, I started to distance myself from this person. I stopped returning his calls, never answered the door when he came over, and essentially avoided him at all costs.

He creeped me out. He made me feel uncomfortable with his hairbrain borderline legal scams, his pathetically desperate attempts at getting a date, and his continuous griping about how he’s always in debt, can never afford something as basic as going out for drinks, and is always working to make ends meet.

I had enough of this, so I cut him off.

Then, oddly, I started getting calls on my cell from PRIVATE. I don’t know anyone named PRIVATE. Yesterday, PRIVATE left me a message. It was Mr. Creepy, telling me that he’s been busy too, but as still made the effort to call, the least I could do is the same. I’ve been avoiding Mr. Creepy now for a month – you’d figure most normal people would get the message and say “his loss” and move on.

Not Mr. Creepy – I had my parents over for dinner tonight, and he kept banging on the door for a couple of minutes. I had to tell my parents this whole tale and my mom agreed with me – she said he was creepy. Then he slid a note through my mail slot.

Hallelujah! Finally this nutbar gets the message. Maybe he’ll leave me alone and move on. Took him long enough – only a whole month of nagging voice-mails, uninvited interruptions to my life at my door.

I didn’t read it, my mom did and she told me he was “bad news” and sounds like he’s “trouble.” The note just said that he’s been trying to talk to me, and he thinks I have been avoiding him because of his request for $40. He wants an explanation, but if I don’t call him soon, he’ll just not consider me a friend.

I remember a couple women I dated years ago (at separate times obviously) that followed the same path after our breakup. These women had some nasty run-ins with men. One had been cheated on, and mentally and physically abused, the other had all those things, and she was also raped by a past boyfriend.

So, these women had some baggage, that I thought wouldn’t affect our relationship, so I tried to date them anyways. It didn’t work in either case, and after a couple of dates, I just stopped talking to them. We never got serious, and it was only a couple of dates. Normally, the standard approach to ending the “relationship” was avoidance.

It happened to me on the odd occasion, where I’d go out with a woman, and after a while, she just never called back. Although I felt sad, and wondered why, I took the hint and moved on with my life. I didn’t continue to leave “why aren’t you calling me” voice-mails. I certainly never showed up at their homes unannounced waiting to spring on them.

These women with all the baggage, when I stopped calling back, they too acted like my nutbar of a friend. They continued to call, leaving messages of pain, angst and wonder. They didn’t show up unannounced at my door, but one of them did leave me a rather odd letter in my mailbox, telling me she loved me, and wanted to make things work. I still wonder how she could have fallen in love with me after only a couple of dates.

It took a while, but eventually these women stopped calling. Took a long time, and there were moments where I wondered if I could ever live in peace without their constant pestering. But eventually they got the message.

I’m hoping that this letter is the last attempt of Mr. Creepy’s to get in touch with me. He’s got the message, and he doesn’t like it. Now it is up to him to get over it and move on.

People with issues often take time to clue into reality. Hopefully he’ll get over his issues, so that reality doesn’t completely leave him – otherwise he’ll really go crazy one day. I think the term is “postal.”

I don’t wish any harm on him – but I do hope he gets professional psychological help soon. He really needs it.

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