So one night I get home from trudging my way through piles of used clothes after getting off the subway platform. It was shocking to step out into that mess and I couldn’t figure out what the hell was going on. People were milling around picking through all these clothes and I couldn’t help but vomit in my mouth. Who would want to wear clothes that have been sitting in the subway and who knows how long they have been there and how many bums have pissed on them? Maybe I am just a clean freak, or maybe, I just don’t feel like getting some communicable disease. All I knew was that I had to get a lot closer to people than I normally would and it was making my skin crawl. It was hard enough to endure the subway ride let alone that afterwards. It was like stepping out the doors into an OCD nightmare.
I made my way to the top in a near panic and the only thing that saved me was the brisk near winter air. Thank god for winter… it keeps the people inside and away from me. It was only 4 blocks to my apartment… to some sort of safety that I could never explain to people. They all think I am fucking crazy anyway. That night I felt like I had someone following me and really that was nothing new. I felt that way every day but combined with the dirty clothes maze in the tunnel and it was more than I could take. I started walking faster and scaring the shit out of myself because the echo to my footfalls got faster and it always makes me think I am being chased even when I know I’m not, but hell if I can make that feeling stop once it is started. My hand was playing with the keys to the door in my pocket making sure I was ready to either gouge someone’s eyes out or open the door. A Girl Scout has to be prepared.
I finally made it to the door to my building with hands trembling and fit the damn key in the hole and turn it. Inside, I pushed it closed and checked the locks to be sure and leaned on the door looking out the glass window. Nothing. And so now I feel like an asshole, but that is also nothing new so I started climbing the stairs. One of the lights was out so the stairway was darker than usual and considering my last 30 minutes, this didn’t help my situation. I could feel a panic attack coming on and my meds were in the apartment. Halfway up the stairs I heard a voice that said “I love you, you know?” I made a strange audible cry that sounded like a dying animal and froze on the stairs gripping the railing. I didn’t know which way to go… up the stairs or down because I couldn’t tell where the voice was coming from. I had dilemma.
I decided to just run up the stairs because it would inevitably get me closer to my apartment and there was light up there in that hallway. I could at least see to defend myself from strange voices telling me about love. My heart was pounding and I got sweaty with fear. I got to the top of the stairs and I heard the voice again but this time it sounded foreign. I hung a right at the top and bolted to my apartment door without really looking up and I ran smack into this Asian lady. I nearly fell backwards and inside I am cringing at having had my face touch her body. She stood there silent for a minute in her short punk rock haircut just staring at me. I was trying to remember if I knew this woman or not, but I don’t think I did. She tells me again that she loves me. I tell her she has to be crazy because I didn’t even know her and I knew for sure that I wasn’t a lesbian so she could move on down to the next apartment. I was sliding down the wall past her while I told her this trying desperately to get to the door. She stepped closer and I plastered myself to the wall. “I know we could be really good together” she said to me in her broken English. “I just can’t” I told her, “You just don’t understand.” She reached out to touch my face and I batted her hand away and made for the door. My hands were sweaty and the keys trembled in my hand. I kept expecting her to attack me but she just stood there.
The lock finally tumbled and I gave her one last look and closed the door. I locked all 12 locks and counted them three times. I stood there sweaty and breathless and ready to pass out. Maybe it was time to get a work from home job. This shit was gonna kill me one day.