Wednesday, June 29, 2011

18. steady

I replied to one of Jeremy’s emails today. Just a couple of lines. I asked about meeting up with him. As I hit the send button on the email I got cold all over. I’m still shaking. What have I done?

Monday, June 27, 2011

17. ready

Colin and I went to the park with a picnic lunch yesterday for the 4th. The whole park was filled with happy people, celebrating. I tried to act like everyone else, but I’m living in a dark world. My world is touched by darkness. Colin and I played Frisbee for a while and once when I was chasing the Frisbee I saw Jeremy sitting on a bench down the path a bit. Watching me. Watching me with Colin. I wasn’t even surprised. Everywhere I go now, I just assume he’s probably around somewhere. Not that I go anywhere much. I’m still a prisoner. I want my life back so bad.

After I saw jeremy I told Colin my stomach hurt and I wanted to go home. That much was true. I couldn’t even sleep last night.

I took out the hatchet and practiced some chopping on a piece of wood I fished out of a dumpster down the street and brought home. I took it into the bathroom. I tore it up pretty good. Pieces of wood were everywhere. I cleaned them up before Colin got home. And I sharpened the hatchet and put it back in the messenger bag.

Friday, June 24, 2011

16. getting ready

Jeremy continues to call and email. I look out the window through the cracks in the blinds so I can’t be seen. I haven’t seen him outside, but I know he must be out there, at least from time to time. I’ve thought about what to do, way too much, and I don’t think I can’t bash Jeremy’s head in, even though I really, really want to. In fact I feel a little ill from thinking about it so much and trying to psyche myself up to do it. Not a good sign. But I can hurt him. I can destroy his film.

I think that would be enough to convince him that I hate him. My plan goes like this… I go to Jeremy’s apartment with an axe. He lets me in. I ask for some water to get him out of the room. The final edit of his film is in the living room. That’s where he keeps it. I take out the axe and chop it to pieces. He couldn’t do anything to me while I have an axe in my hands, so I’d just tell him to leave me alone once and for all and I’d leave. He’ll be so traumatized over the loss of his film that he can’t possibly still want anything to do with me. I figure if I act as crazy as he is, he’ll finally get the message. And hopefully be scared of me.

I went to the hardware store today. In disguise. Which was ridiculous. Wearing a raincoat and hat on a sunny day in July gets you some strange looks. After looking around for something that looked pretty destructive I settled on a hatchet. I brought it home and put it in a messenger bag and hid it in the back of the closet.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

15. decided

Jeremy has been calling and emailing non-stop. Even all night long. I blocked his regular email address so he started using several others under fake names. I keep the phone muted and just check the voice mail and recent calls for clients. I silenced the ringer on the house phone. I said I wanted some quiet.

Colin has to have noticed something is going on. Colin has some tough classes right now so he has been studying hard, lately. He’s got a stack of books to get through and a paper to write. So he’s distracted but I’m sure he’s noticed. He hasn’t said anything about it. He must still trust me and believe I’ll tell him everything eventually. He believes in me. He believes I’ll do the right thing. Will I? What is the right thing?

I may have come up with an idea. I’ve spent days trying to convince myself that I can do what needs to be done. If I’m cornered I can strike. And I’m cornered. I have to take my life back. Because I can’t stand living like this any more.

Monday, June 20, 2011

14. stalker me

Colin and I had a nice weekend. We stayed at home, created our own movie marathon and took turns picking films to watch. We lounged around in our jammies and ate microwave popcorn by the box load. The movies I picked were all spy thrillers. Espionage. Covert ops. And I thought about what to do all weekend. I have a plan.

The thing is, I can’t stand feeling like a victim. Feeling trapped. I’m afraid to leave my apartment! I never know when Jeremy will be out there, waiting. Watching me. I can’t stand it anymore. Time to turn the tables. Time for the worm to turn.

I got ready as soon as Colin left for class. Since today was a rainy, somewhat cool, day I put my hair up under a hat. Put on an old baggy trench coat of Colin’s. I found an old pair of sneakers I haven’t worn in years, took a nondescript black umbrella and sort of snuck out behind a couple of our neighbors as they were leaving. I turned and walked the opposite direction from the way I usually go and walked the long way around to the subway. Just in case Jeremy was out there, watching. I bought a newspaper to hide behind. I went to watch Jeremy’s apartment building.

There’s a Dunkin Donuts on the corner down the block from his building and I sat there drinking way too many cups of coffee, pretending to read the paper and watching the building. Jeremy went into the building about 11 AM and left about an hour later. I followed him. He went down into the subway station 3 blocks away. It’s a small, mostly deserted station in the off hours so I couldn’t follow him down without him seeing me. He could have been going to NYU, my house or anywhere else downtown. Nothing else happened. I waited a couple more hours but he didn’t come back. I finally had to just go home. Lame. I don’t know what I thought I’d find out. I just wanted to take some action. Stalk the stalker.

But while I was waiting, getting amped up on caffeine, I kept thinking about what to do. Fantasizing, more like. Rehearsing different scenarios in my head.

In one, I get a gun. I buy one off the street in the Bronx or Spanish Harlem. Some rough neighborhood where life is cheap and guns are sold on street corners. Or drive to some other state with no waiting period and buy one under an assumed name. with a fake ID. And then I get directions off the internet for making a homemade silencer out of common household items. I would take this contraption in a bag to Jeremy’s house and shoot him when he answers his door and walk away. Quietly, like a hit man. Getting away, scot free.

Think I’ve seen too many bad movies? Yeah.

Okay, getting a gun might be difficult. So then I thought, I’ll get your typical blunt object. Like a crowbar. Go to his door and just blitz attack, overpower him and bash his skull in. I’ve seen those forensics shows on TV. I’d wear a jumpsuit and a hood to cover my clothes and hair from the mess it would make. I would get the job done and remove the outer layer of clothes, put everything in a bag and walk away. Calmly, like a career criminal. No one would suspect me.

Hmm, maybe poison.

Only one problem. I don’t think I could do any of it.

But I have to do something. I can’t go on like this. I have to either take some action or give up. And I can’t give up. I don’t even know what giving up would mean. Leaving New York? Leaving Colin? Talk him into moving to Wyoming and changing our names? Skulking away in fear? Nah…none of that works for me. And I’m not too sure how much freelance art work in available in Wyoming.

Friday, June 17, 2011

13. report

I went to the local police station today. I didn’t know what else to do and I was hoping that going there and doing something would make me feel safer. They said if I file a report they will arrest him. I asked what would happen then. The detective was uncomfortably vague on that point. She just kept saying that it depends on the situation. But I already know.

I’ve seen enough episodes of Law and Order, 48 Hours and Cold Case files on TV. It goes like this:

  1. Jeremy gets arrested.
  2. He gets a lawyer and is released in less than 24 hours.
  3. He keeps stalking me.
  4. I get a restraining order.
  5. He ignores it and probably kills me in a vengeful rage.

And in all of this mess Colin will probably leave me for not being honest with him and trusting him. Maybe I’m better off dead. Because right now I feel so isolated and alone.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

12. resolve

According to the advice on the web, I need to tell Jeremy to leave me alone and then cut off all contact of any kind with him. It’s a plan, I suppose. Though, realistically, I’ve already told him to leave me alone. And told him. And told him. There’s no point in saying it again, so I guess the only thing to do now is the cutting off contact part. I just wish I could make him just go away. I really don’t get why he’s doing this. How could anyone be that crazy? What is wrong with him?

I really need to tell the police. And I REALLY need to tell Colin. I have to trust him and hope he’ll understand. But, he’s NOT going to understand. No one would understand the way I’ve behaved. I wouldn’t. I DON’T. I’ve handled this situation just about the worst possible way and I have to start fixing it. I just wish I knew how.

One email and one voice mail from Jeremy today. I didn’t listen or read, but I saved them. Documenting. I don’t even want to know what he has to say.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

11. the net life

So, I got up this morning and became totally obsessed with looking up information about stalkers on the internet. Because, I am a girl with a stalker. I am being stalked. I don’t know why it didn’t really occur to me before. At least not with any clarity. But that’s what it is.

Maybe it’s because my own view of reality was warped early on by having a teenage boy who sort of stalked me in high school. It felt pretty harmless, just irritating. I hardly paid any attention to it all. It certainly didn’t frighten me. Maybe I was just blind and over-confident. My teenage stalker certainly never made me feel anything much more than exasperated so I suppose I came to view the behavior as less of a threat than someone else might.

But there’s a lot of good information about stalking on the web. Here’s what I discovered:

1. Restraining orders don’t work
2. Jail doesn’t work
3. Stalkers may become violent
4. Tell your stalker “NO”

I also found out that most victims of stalking don’t want to think of themselves as victims and that you should report being stalked and document all contact with your stalker. I’ve done some documenting. You’re reading it.

I’m so screwed.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

10. may i

I keep turning and twisting like a worm on a hook, trying to figure a way out of this. And no solution is coming to me. I’ve even thought of killing Jeremy. No one else knows we have ever even met, right? Except the other film student and she might not even remember. Maybe I wouldn’t get caught.

Except life isn’t like the movies. It’s a lot messier. I wouldn’t have the first idea of how to really kill someone. I don’t own a gun. Or even a crowbar. An axe? In a Manhattan apartment? Do hardware stores here even sell them? Even if I thought I could get away with it, I am vaguely aware from things I’ve read and seen on TV that it’s a lot harder to kill a human being that you’d think it is. People, as a rule, don’t conveniently break their necks when you push them down a flight of stairs like Alfred Hitchcock would seem to suggest. Thank you A&E true crime shows.

Maybe I wouldn’t even have the guts to kill someone. I’ve always felt like I was against the death penalty. I don’t think violence is the answer to violence. Life is a precious gift, right? No one has the right to take another person’s life.

But maybe I could. Would. To protect myself. I think I’m gaining a new perspective on the subject.

I’ve got to think of something. Usually when I have a problem I can’t solve, I talk to my friends about it. Or to Colin. I’m at a severe disadvantage with no advisers. I don’t always follow their advice, but talking to them often helps to clarify my thinking. So, I just keep writing this blog. All safe and anonymous. Hoping that a solution will occur to me.

I’m trapped like a rat on a sinking ship.

And it’s like Jeremy knows it, too.

He called me again today, just after lunchtime, and said he was down at the diner across the street and would I come down and meet him. It sort of surprised me when he called because I was working on a travel brochure illustration and not thinking about him, for once, so I just hung up quickly and didn’t say anything. But after about 20 minutes, I went down to my building’s front door and sort of sneaked a look over to the diner. I could see he was still there. Waiting for me.

I went back upstairs and sat down again. I knew he would keep waiting there. Probably all day. I thought maybe I should try to have it out with him again. Once and for all. Be really firm and try to act really bitchy, too, so he’d get the idea that I’m not the prize he somehow thinks I am. Yeah. I thought that might work. So I put on a plaid work shirt and my toughest-looking leather jacket and went over there. Being overcast, the diner’s windows were closed today so I went inside and sat down at Jeremy’s table.

He right away wanted to talk about his film, but I stopped him. I was trying to be very firm and totally straight with him and make him understand that he has to leave me alone. That I’m not going to put up with this. I tried to even be threatening. He was just looking at me indulgently like I was a child or something while I was speaking. Very frustrating.

It’s like he’s so confident in his own perceptions of reality that his unshakable faith in what is real is starting to warp mine when I’m around him. His acting as if I was the crazy one was starting to shake my own confidence. And that’s totally crazy.

It was really getting to be a bit overwhelming and I got up to go to the bathroom because I thought I might cry and when I came back he watched me walk from the back of the diner and he said, “Nice legs.” I said “Not gams?” before I even thought about what I was saying. Which is of course the line the victim says to the psycho killer girl in the film “May” right before she chops said gams off and sews them onto a big multi-sexual Frankenstein doll to be her friend. And I tend to be reminded of the movie “May” a lot when I think of Jeremy. As you may recall, for this blog I pseudo-named him after Jeremy Sisto, the actor who played the film student in “May.” Who made the weird cannibal love film, in that film. Just like this Jeremy.

Anyway, he got that fairly obscure film reference (of course he did!) and asked me what I thought the weird cannibal love film had represented in the movie “May”. And though it struck me as very weird that we were talking about it I said, somewhat viciously, that it was obviously a heavy-handed comment on the all-consuming nature of obsession as opposed to love, because love doesn’t imprison or place limits on its object. (hint, hint, clever me)

Yeah. Clever me. That was the general direction of where he was leading the conversation anyway so I fell right into it. He told me in an oh-so-reasonable tone of voice that he would always love me, but all he wanted from me was to be a part of my life in any way. Even a small part. Even if we could just talk on the phone once in a while, he would accept that. Just to be friends.

At this point I was fighting that “losing my grip on my own reality feeling” and I looked at him really hard and asked him if he really thinks that would be likely to happen given his actions of three weeks (only three weeks!) ago. And I’ll be damned if he doesn’t try to take my hands gently in his. I yanked it away from him as you can imagine. He asked me to forgive him for what happened and try to put it behind us. He says that he made such a bad first impression (psycho!!!) and he’s not really like that at all. And…that I would find that out if I would just give him a chance. I told him it’s not the kind of thing I can just forget and it’s not the kind of behavior I look for in a friend. I had almost started feeling really sympathy for him again for a minute there, but at the end I did remember to be more bitchy.

I got up and left before I lost my grip on Claire-reality entirely and got completely lost in Jeremy-reality. He is so completely certain of his world view. Talking to Jeremy is very bad. It’s like his psychosis is almost contagious. A psychosis virus. God, I’m such a wuss.

Problem clearly still not solved, however. Grr.

Monday, June 13, 2011

9. the worst

While I was out Jeremy called my apartment phone today, I don’t know how he got the number, it’s listed but in Colin’s name. He spoke to Colin! He acted like he was a potential client and Colin unknowingly gave him my new cell number. He called me this afternoon. It was totally out of the blue. when I heard his voice my whole body went cold.

I was on the elliptical with my headphones on and I never should have picked up, but I didn’t see the incoming number in time. I’m not used to this stupid new phone and it didn’t occur to me that Jeremy could have the number anyway. He apologized for calling my house but he said he really wanted to know what I thought of his film.  And that he really missed talking to me.

I got really pissed off and I told him that I didn’t want to speak to him and he needed to stop calling me and get a life. Not very original, I know, but I’m not at my most articulate when I’m upset.

After I hung up the phone I had that weird trembling feeling inside. And everyone around me was staring. He is forcing me to go ahead and do it. I’m going to have to report what he did and try to have him arrested or he won’t ever leave me alone. Maybe he won’t stop even if I do have him arrested. And the police will want to know why I waited so long. And Colin will want to know why I never told him. I can hear him. Why I wouldn’t trust him enough to confide in him?

Colin will never trust me again. It will never be quite the same between us after this comes out. And what if I have Jeremy arrested and he gets out and goes crazy and tries to kill me? Or, worse, kill Colin?

I just want to run away. Leave everything behind and live somewhere else as someone else. Not an option, I guess. Christ. What am I going to do?

Friday, June 10, 2011

8. fucker

It’s been almost a week and I hadn’t heard from Jeremy and I was just sort of starting to relax. A little anyway. I still had a feeling like it might not be over, but it’s been over a week. And last time I told him off, too. So, I was just hoping.

But today I got a DVD in the mail. It was from Jeremy. It was the final edit of his short film. I should have thrown it out or something, but…

1. I’m an idiot
2. I really like films

So I went into the living room and watched it. It was a lot more coherently edited than the rough cut I had seen that first day and the sound was cleaned up. There were a couple of really funny and clever moments. The totally fucked up thing was that it was really good. If I didn’t know Jeremy and I saw that film, I would be interested to meet him and find out what he was like.

I’m really starting to hate him.

Monday, June 06, 2011

7. it happened

I left this morning to go work at the agency. I was so nervous. Nothing happened the whole way to the office. But the ad agency is downtown in the general area of NYU. Now I’m realizing just how much of my whole life revolves around that area! I didn’t even go out for lunch, I just ordered in and ate at my desk.

I came home on the subway instead of taking a cab. I thought I better save money, since I haven’t made much this past week or so what with the being distracted and not leaving the apartment and all. I was almost home, I was just walking past the diner across the street from my building…they had their front windows opened up because it was warm…and I heard what I had been dreading. Jeremy calling my name. I stopped. I didn’t even mean to, but I just did. I almost decided to run, but I thought…it’s a public place… What’s he going to do? So I turned around and saw him sitting at one of the front tables in the window.

By this time I had built him up in my mind like he was some kind of monster. When I saw him, he just looked like a normal, friendly guy, smiling and waving at me. I don’t even think he was as tall as I remembered. I walked over to the window of the diner. I didn’t go in, I just talked to him through the open window. Only, I’m thinking to myself…What the fuck? This is the first time I’ve been out of the apartment by myself since I got back from Maine. Has he been sitting in there for days, hoping I’d walk by? I mean, REALLY!

He said he had been hoping to see me. That he wanted to talk to me. He said he knew he had freaked me out by the way he acted when I came to his apartment and he completely understood my reaction. He said he had overreacted to his own feelings and he could understand if I never wanted to see him again. I was waiting for the “but” but when that didn’t come, he just waited and it seemed like it was my turn to say something. I told him he was exactly right…I DIDN’T ever want to see him again. Then I said that I was very much in love with my large, burly, Irish-tempered fiancĂ© and that it was impossible for him to ever think we could have any kind of relationship at all. I felt slightly silly even having to tell him something that obvious. It hits me that I still really can't even believe this is going on at all. It struck me while I was talking to him... That sense of unreality again.

Then we were right back on the crazy train. Jeremy said, perfectly calmly, that he would always love me and he knew that we were destined to be together. And that he could wait for me to come around and realize it too. No matter how long it took.

That pissed me off. I guess I was feeling safer and less scared out on a public street and the sun was still out and the sidewalks were crowded and the man who owns the diner and his son were both right inside and these factors all combined to make me get really angry instead of afraid. I told Jeremy he had to stop this, that if he called or emailed or tried to see me again, I would call the police and report the kidnapping and tell them about the attempted rape.

He just looked at me and didn’t really even change his expression. Like I hadn't said anything at all. And when I turned to walk away, I heard him say “Why didn’t you?,” but I just kept on going. It was so fucking WEIRD!

And I still don’t know the answer to that question.

Colin got home from school a little while after I did. He asked me what was wrong. I guess he could tell I was upset. I was upset. I almost told him, then. I really almost did. Then I thought of something. There’s this little restaurant at the Seaport that we go to. We sit on the deck and watch the sun set. Every time we go it’s beautiful and perfect and I feel so close to Colin. So, I asked him if we could go there for dinner. I couldn’t take the thought of never feeling that way again.

We just had enough time to have dinner and drinks before Colin had to leave for work. He even called and asked one of the guys to cover for him if he was late. We sat up on the high deck with a couple of mojitos and watched the city skyline turn shades of deep red and purple.

I tried not to look around. But I thought I might have glimpsed Jeremy down by the ships. I kissed Colin. I really do love him.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

6. outer spaces

In a terribly misguided effort to be really nice to me, Colin tried to get me to go see a movie at the Angelica. The Angelica is the main independent film theater in town and normally Colin would avoid it like poison since he doesn’t really care for indie films all that much. He only goes to see them with me. Of course, the Angelica is not too far from Jeremy’s NYU building and is exactly Jeremy’s sort of theater. So you can imagine how I felt about that suggestion. Manhattan is a really big place, but right now it seems tiny and confining. I can’t even imagine what would happen if Colin and I were to see Jeremy.

I cooked supper for Colin tonight to try to make up for being such a crazy bitch. I made this chicken and rice thing he likes. But I the some chicken in the freezer and rice in the cabinet. I still don't want to go out, even to the store.

I made Colin take me to this big theater way up on Columbus Avenue. The upper west side is about as far away from the lower east side where Jeremy lives as you can reasonably get. Colin was happy…ish about it. With the movie, at least. We saw something with lots of explosions. I love action movies and special FX blockbusters, too. But I just couldn’t concentrate. I couldn’t even tell you what movie we saw.

Jeremy has been emailing me. The last one he sent today was a really long one about how he loves me and he’s been thinking about it and wants us to move in together. He’s got this whole imaginary relationship going on in his head or something. I just deleted the emails.

And emptied the trash.

And defragged the hard drive.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

5. hermit crab

3 more voicemail messages today from Jeremy. I had to keep the phone turned on for work. Thank god for caller ID. I didn’t pick up. Of course.

I can’t make myself leave the apartment. I made Colin go out and get me milk and Cheerios, the staple foods of my existence. I got a call to work a couple of days in the office of an ad agency next week. I don’t know what I’m going to do, but I told them I would be at their office on Tuesday. Tomorrow night is Colin’s night off and he wants to go to see a movie. I really don’t want to leave the apartment at all. Colin is trying to be patient and gentle with me, since I’ve been acting like such a psycho, and I have not been dealing with it very well. I sort of snapped at him today. Not really bad, but some stupid small thing like not hanging up the wet bath mat. I feel like a prisoner in my own home. It’s getting to me. Poor Colin.

This morning the last message from Jeremy was him asking me to meet him for lunch at this Mexican restaurant near the NYU film building. Oddly, it’s one of my favorites and he couldn’t possibly know that. But it’s a popular place, so maybe it’s not that odd. But…meet him for lunch? What the hell does this guy think? How could he be this crazy?

How could I be this crazy? After I got that message I called Sprint and had my cell phone shut off. That wasn’t such a great decision. How am I going to explain that to Colin? I guess I’ll say I’ve been meaning to switch services for a while now. How am I going to explain why I don’t want to keep the same number even though it’s printed on a thousand business cards?

I imagine that this is what drowning feels like. I can’t breathe and I feel like I’m sinking further and further into an abyss. I might as well call this blog “Diary of a Crazy Woman.” I need to pull myself together.