I have this talent, apparently, for attracting small weirdness.
Oh, it’s little things. I am the person who will be standing on the sidewalk when a man rides by on a bicycle, and points a banana at me and says “Stick ‘em up!” (I did, for the record. He said “That’s right!” and rode on by.) I will comment on a Sherlock Holmes poster in the subway and be drawn into a long discussion with a very quirky aficionado of the steampunk aesthetic. I will be in the one car on the entire train that has That Crazy Dude in it, and he will spend the entire train ride making threatening holding-a-gun type gestures at another passenger. I will be accosted by creepy people and asked to pretend my name is Debbie. I will bump into a guy who tells me my aura would be so much better harmonized if I wore more green.
Sometimes the people I am with will be lucky enough to be around when one of these things happens. If it’s my husband, he will usually then turn to me and say something to the effect of “This NEVER happens when I am on my own.”
Honestly, most of the time, I like it when this happens. These strange encounters are sometimes like little presents from the universe, reminding me that yes, the world is a strange and lovely place where all sorts of oddities are possible. (Man Who Was Making Up Songs About People On The Sidewalk While Playing A Harmonica, I am thinking of you. You rock.) Sometimes, on the other hand, they’re kind of creepy and alarming, and then…well, then it is not so nice.
This afternoon I was on my way to have lunch after I finished volunteering. Had my headphones on, was thinking about nothing much, strolling toward the prospect of Chinese food.
All of a sudden, I registered that someone was, you might say, up in my grill. A cute girl (Japanese?), nicely turned out in a red dress shirt and black jacket, leaning riiiight over into my path and rather alarmingly into my personal space. Whoa. Um, okay. Normally I leave my headphones in to avoid just this sort of occurrence, but sometimes the people stopping me want directions or something, and with the vague thought of being nice I pulled mine out.
At around this point I noticed she had a guy with her, about the same age, also respectably dressed. The girl apologized for stopping me and said, in a very heavy accent, that they were students. Well, they looked like students – university undergrads maybe. So, okay.
I am not sure what I would have expected next, but it was not what she actually said, which was something like “Have you heard the message about the female form of God in the world?”
This was about as surprising as being stopped by a stranger and asked if I had seen the Yellow Sign, though oddly enough I think I would have had more of an idea how to respond to that than I did to this.
I am naturally a somewhat shy person – it takes me quite a long time to open up to people at the best of times. When suddenly confronted by something startling, that shyness tends to kick into higher gear. And anyway, something seemed weird. These people weren’t handing out literature or anything, and they looked very normal, except for that rather extraordinary question. But…I don’t know if you believe in “vibes,” Internet, but there was something about these people that weirded me out, in a way that more overtly “weird” people I’ve met have not.
And so I begged off, stammering something about needing to hurry someplace, and left. Escaped downstairs to the comforting anonymity of a nice crowded eating place and settled in with my Chinese.
In spite of myself, though, I still find myself wondering what the message is.