It was sometime around June, last year, when I started suspecting I had a stalker. You know, like when you get that feeling someone’s watching you, but when you turn around, there’s no one there. And you feel like a fool.
My stalker is a man.
I say stalker – not someone who’s following me or always after me – because these days saying ‘stalker’ is such a cliché, that makes it sound less real.
But the whole thing came out in the open this week and it started when I lost my shopping cart at the supermarket. I was trying to find some ripe tomatoes and when I turned around, my shopping cart wasn’t there anymore.
“Weird,” I thought, “why do these things always happen to me?” Seriously. Who the hell loses their supermarket shopping cart inside the supermarket? That’s the kind of idiot I am. Or maybe just hopelessly absent-minded.
So then I had to go back, get another cart, and go looking for all the same things again. I guess the good news was that this time around, I only got what I really needed, the basics. No more impulse buys I couldn’t really afford, like bacon marmalade. Or like those hyper expensive coffee beans, the ones from Indonesia which some feral cat eats and partially digests and poops out, and which cost an arm and a leg. Stuff I really didn’t need.
So I pay at the cash register, and get everything into my car. I drive back to the building where my apartment is, I park the car and then I start going up the stairs in slow motion like a tortoise cause I’m loaded down with eight or nine bags of groceries. At this point I’m so hungry my stomach is growling louder than my neighbor’s bulldog. “But before I can eat,” I remind myself, “I really have to finish editing those articles so they can be uploaded onto the Home page for the morning edition.” Cause if I don’t finish my work I won’t get paid and if I don’t get paid how can I afford to go shopping for groceries?
But as I’m walking in, I notice that the light is on in the kitchen. And there’s also a light on in my bedroom.
And then – and this is the weird part – in the kitchen I see all the other groceries – the ones I’d picked out the first time around – the ones that had been in my shopping cart, the first cart, the one that disappeared.
“What the fuck?!”
I’m really freaking now. And nervous as hell, what should I do? Call the cops? Get a weapon, to defend myself? But no, I’m like one of those brainless blonde heroines in horror movies who always waltz right into the ‘bad place’ where if you had half a brain, you’d know the psychokiller was waiting for you, and the whole audience is screaming at them, ‘No! Don’t go in there!’ – but they do it anyway –
That’s exactly what I did. I walked into my bedroom and –
There was my stalker.
Sitting in my chair, in front of my desk, at my laptop (and the part of my brain which is still functioning is asking: how the hell did he figure out the password to turn my laptop on?), and on the screen –
No! I can see what’s on the laptop screen – he’s editing my articles, the ones I’m supposed to finish tonight, to finish right now and –
And the stalker – I still can’t see his face, so I don’t really know yet what he looks like, or even if it’s a ‘he’ like I’ve thought all along – the stalker is wearing my clothing, and not just any random clothes, he’s wearing my favorite teeshirt, the ‘Bad Bat’ one and –
And right next to the laptop is my lipstick. My favorite lipstick, that expensive French brand, “Protège-moi” (Protect Me…from Myself), a deep blood-red. And it’s open …
I’m still at the wrong angle to see his face, but as I involuntarily jerk sideways I glimpse his lips, covered with Protège-moi, and his tongue slides out, how can a guy have such a feminine tongue? and it’s licking the blood-red lipstick off his lips which are unusually full and –
I don’t hesitate, I don’t even think, my hand shoots out and – Click! – I flip the lights off.
Texto original de Adriana Degetau
Traducción de Miguel Tejada-Flores