2004-11-06 @ 11:06 p.m.
I was so spooked out today. Not sure what was wrong with me. It was a beautiful day so I decided to take advantage of it, since we are nearly out of beautiful days. I took a walk.
I decided to forsake my usual well populated, cement-pathed lake walking location and drive out to my old haunts. When I lived on the east side of town, I was a lot closer to nature and hills and woods, and I used to walk around this really pretty lake created by glaciers. The color of the water was this really unusual turquoise color, and you could go swimming at one end, even though, down deep, it was ice cold in the dead of summer.
There are actually two lakes up there. One which was well traveled by runners, families with kids and old ladies. And then the other one, which required a brief hike up a steep wooded path, and was usually only frequented by an occasional runner or a lone hiker like me. And let me tell you, right after I saw "The Blair Witch Project" a few years ago, my first hike up there, was kind of nerve wracking, with every snapping twig and leaf crunching making me jump.
But I guess I had always been a little nervous up at the Upper Lake. I had tried to use its solitude for relaxation, like the time Zenshrink had given me a mantra and I had sat up on a bench chanting it, while looking out over the water. I felt a little silly though. Chanting a mantra. I must be from California or something.
And then last summer, after a particular rough session with "A", I had gone to the Upper Lake and done something slightly illegal afterwards. I only got away with it because it was truly deserted and nobody saw me. But "A" wasn't happy about the fact that I had taken such a big risk, and then I got reminded of it, over and over, as well as I should have and I was also reminded of the fact that some shrinks have really good memories.
So it was a place which offered both fear and comfort. Uncommon allies. I liked the solitude, the wind blowing through the trees, the sun glittering off the water, or catching a glimpse of a coyote up on the ridge.
And yet, sometimes when I would be walking way out at the far end of the lake, I would feel extremely vulnerable. Like rape-bait. Because it was there that this other trail came in from a different angle. And there was no way to predict if somebody was going to be coming up over the hill. It was hidden, right up until the second you came upon it.
And I'm jumpy anyways. I am a very nervous person. I suffer from anxiety. I am the poster girl for anxiety. If I'm walking I am always aware of everything that is happening in a 360 degree radius. And since I walk so much, and I'm usually in a populated area, I am about 95% accurate when it comes to predicting who is coming up behind me. How? By the sound of their footsteps. Men and women, not surprisingly walk different. Walking wise I am about 99% accurate. I can almost always tell who is coming up behind me. Running is a little more difficult. With running, I factor in how they are breathing, in order to tell if they are male or female. And I'm pretty damn good at it.
And if I can't figure out who or what they are, I turn around abruptly and look like Buckwheat in "The Little Rascals."
Good going, witty!
I had been doing pretty well on the trail today. I had to sidestep some little rugrats who were toddling along with their parents. Daniel, Emma and Ella. I only knew their names because little Daniel was such a chatterbox. A little redhead. He kinda reminded me of kidlet, whose birthday is today. Happy birthday, kidlet....wherever you are.
There was a lot of mud on the trail, because of some heavy rain yesterday, so I was trying not to slide on my ass, while tripping over Daniel, Emma and Ella.
I finally came to the split in the trail, where you could either continue around the main lake or go up to the Upper Lake. I stood there for a moment. I knew I wanted to go to the Upper Lake, but I wasn't sure how deserted it was going to be today. I actually hadn't been to this lake since my slip-up in May, so I wanted to go, but I had reservations. Oh fuck it. Its a beautiful day. It's a beautiful lake. I'm going!
But right when I started up the steep incline to the lake a man started following me with a dog. I immediately got nervous for some reason. He was a big brute, and instead of me looking at him like, hmmm, the next Mr. Wittykitty, I was looking at him like Serial Killer X. I really didn't want to abruptly turn around and go back down the hill with him wondering why, so I kept going.
Fortunately, I am a rather slow walker, and also its a steep hill, so he rather quickly pulled ahead of me. Of course, in my head, I was thinking, HE'S PROBABLY WAITING BEHIND THE TREE AT THE TOP!! But he wasn't.
When I got to the top of the hill where you get a rather expansive view of the lake, I sat on a bench. Its a good place for a bench considering the steep hill you just lugged your fat ass up. So as I was sitting there enjoying the view, I suddenly heard this weird, feathery sound. My people radar immediately tweaked up, because I couldn't tell if it was a "who" or "what" coming. Was it some errant coyote coming down to the water to get a drink? Or was a mass murderer sneaking up behind me with an ax?
So I whipped around really quickly. I whipped around so quickly I nearly fell off the bench. It was an old man. I guess he saw my apparent (though unearned) terror and quickly said, "Hi!" I said "Hi" nervously and let him walk past.
AND DON'T YOU EVER DO THAT AGAIN!!!
After he was gone, I finally got up to continue my walk, and who do I find at the next bench. Mr. Friendly Old Guy. And what does he do when I approach? He pops up off the bench and nearly bumps into me. And in my head I'm going, oh no don't! You're not going to walk near me way out in the middle of nowhere, old guy!
I guess he sensed my "fuck off" vibe, because he finally speeded up and disappeared up over the hill. But I guess I was sufficiently freaked out, because I nearly scream like a girly girl when some branch snapped off a tree up the hill and made a rather significant noise falling to the ground. I have no idea what made it snap, but it was really loud. Especially when the woods were so silent.
I then started doing this thing I've been doing for about a month now. I pick up thin fallen tree sticks and start breaking them as I walk. Its an anxiety reliever. Not sure why its so satisfying to break things, but hoo boy, I'm here to say, snapping something in half, when you're anxious is a good thing!
I finally rejoined the main trail on the bigger lake once again. There were a lot of people on that trail. I came up behind two people, who I'm fairly certain were a pair of psychotherapists. I was cracking up listening to them. They were talking about homosexuality and quoting experts. I could only hear bits and pieces of their conversation, because the wind was blowing the leaves around, but they were really full of themselves. The guy was saying that a gay man's sexuality was determined by the amount of early exposure he had to his mother's breasts.
Huh? Ummm. Really? I wonder if the same holds true for lesbians?
After my walk I headed over to the YMCA. I was too tired for a swim, of course, since I had just walked about 2.5 miles with hills. My main intention was a quick dip in the whirlpool. The place was teaming with kids, since it was Saturday, but my body was so achy, that I figured I could deal with it for 10 minutes of whirlpool time. And it very nice.
There was a man about my age in there. As usual, I was too shy to look at him, except for when I was stepping in making a squishy face because the water was 102 degrees. I'm such a loser in the looking-at-guys department. Honestly. Especially with this ongoing obnoxiously exuberant horoscope hanging over my head that keeps predicting that I am like milliseconds away from meeting my soulmate. Argghhh! Stop it!
He didn't say anything to me and he got out fairly quick, but I did catch him checking me out when he got in the regular pool. Yup! I looked over and he was looking right at me. Fruck!
I just wonder if horoscopes ever tell people when they are going to be stalked in the woods by serial killers.
Lyrics by Lennon/McCartney. All angst copyright by awittykitty