I don’t know if I have told this one before, but I’m going to tell it now anyway.

Stalkers come in many types.

When I worked at USC Medical Campus, I had to make a two hour bus ride in from Altadena every day to get to work. We had a car, but it was a stick shift and my left leg was never strong enough to handle the pedals. My ex was working from home by then and my step-son could drive the car. However, it was an imposition to expect either of them to drive me.

The bus went through some of worst sections of LA and I had to change buses twice in bad neighborhoods. I wore my old tennis shoes and carried my heels in my back pack. The tennis shoes has holes in them and Jean refused to let me buy new ones. So when it rained my feet were soaking wet by the time I got to work. But there was spare hose and socks in my backpack also.

The backpack had two large outer pockets. I had chosen it for the pockets because one of them was just right for me to put the tire iron in. I have always preferred a heavy weapon that I could break bone with. I had the tire iron situated so that I could draw it like a sword from the pocket in a quick sweeping motion. I could reach over my shoulder and out it came.

More than once I was glad I carried that tire iron.

Once part of the bus ride ran through a section of town that was mostly Asian. That was the best part of the ride because they were polite. Some of them were recent immigrants. There was one guy who always came on in a suit carrying a brief case. He was probably Korean, but I think of him as Mr. Moto. There was a nasty Hispanic guy, low class and dirty, who gave me a hard time (until I scared the shit out of him). When Mr. Moto saw his hassling me, Moto came up and politely warned him off and then sat down next to me. He said in broken English, “You safe.”

Thereafter Moto always took the seat next to me. I appreciated it and I liked talking to him.

One day the Hispanic fellow got off at the same stop I did, where I had to wait for the next bus. He got all handsy and pushy. I laughed at him, stood up from the bench, and pulled the tire iron.

I kept laughing at him and telling him what a wonderful time we were going to have and brandishing the tire iron. He quickly decided I was insane. Insanity scares most people, so he did the logical thing and fled. After that he always moved to the back of the bus as soon as he saw me get on the bus.

However, there was a man watching me that I never noticed. I ought to have because he was white. And most of the people riding the buses were Asian, Hispanic, and Black.

So I will never know how I missed him.

In fact I did not even know he was around or riding the same bus until the day I left work and sat down on the bench to wait for the bus one day. So Whitey sat down next to me and started ticking off all of my stops, what I did, where I went, and so forth. Once of the spots had a twenty minute wait, and I always went into a certain store and bought a Dr. Pepper and a bag of chips. He knew what I drank, what I ate, and so forth. He had studied me. It freaked me out.

I tried to lose him downtown, but no matter what I tried to do, he was right there, following me. I changed to a different bus that I knew connected to my main stop from a different route. He followed me. I jumped off the bus early. He followed me.

Finally we got to a section of Pasadena that I knew well, and I got off there. I just darted through the front door. He went out the back door. I ran and he followed. I knew a spot where the shubbery was dense and I went into it just enough ahead of him, because of having to go around a corner, that he did not see me enter the bushes.

I watched for him. When he came level with the bushes, I hit him in the head with the tire iron. He went down and I fled without waiting to find out whether he got back up again. I guess he must have because I never read anything in the local papers about it. But in the back of my mind, I always wondered whether I stunned him or killed him.

Needless to say, I was shaking so hard when I finally found a phone that I could barely dial my own number. For once, Hank/Jean was not an asshole about driving down and picking me up.

And now, Dagstine, you can do some research. Since I know you’re reading this.

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