Unbagging the Cats 1

Unbagging the Cats 1

Monday, February 6, 2012

The Imaginarium of Val the Victorian

I don't mean to be a reverse misogynist. That might not be the best term. A reverse misogynist could be a lover of women, and I wouldn't have any qualms about being one of those. In the platonic sense, of course. Not that there's anything wrong with that other way.

Because of the confusion, I googled hater of men. I'm not a hater of men, mind you. I don't mean to be one. But I found out the correct term is misandrist. Really. Would you have understood me if I said, "I don't mean to be a misandrist" in the beginning? Didn't think so.

I had an unsettling moment this afternoon while working in my classroom, waiting for The Pony to be done with his academic team practice across town. We had our monthly faculty meeting after school, and the moment it was over, folks cleared out of there like other folks rush into Walmart the moment the doors are opened on Black Friday. Like a reverse day-after-Thanksgiving sale.

I stopped by the teacher workroom to gather my mail. When I stepped out, both ends of the hall were as bare as Old Mother Hubbard's cupboard. I might have seen a tumbleweed roll by the west wing. I continued to my classroom, and noticed the closet door right next to it was open. The closet that is locked all the live-long day, that contains boxes of paper, file cabinets of ancient records, and a microfiche reader. I felt like I was a young Jamie Lee Curtis, three months after Halloween, with Michael Myers still on the loose. It was surreal. Like my eyes were a camera dollying along the smooth tile, panning left into the closet just before I turned at my door alcove.

A man sat just inside the closet.

He was not a big man, not wearing a Halloween mask, not menacing. But he was a stranger. I'm not one to cry "Wolf!" I don't accost a school board member wandering our halls and ask if he has a pass from the office. I don't lock my door if a book falls in another room and a kid thinks it's a gunshot. I don't think every man finds me the utmost in desirability, and wants to pick me up. Well, unless I'm shopping in Save A Lot.

I was uncomfortable. We were the only two people in the building. I did not know him from Adam. His name might have been Adam. Where did he come from? All of the faculty, support staff, and building administrator had been in the meeting with me. Who was this guy, and how did he get that locked door open?

He might have been somebody's husband. But if so, where was the somebody? I'm sure there's a reasonable explanation. I tied up some loose ends while sitting at my desk. Which I might not have mentioned is in the far corner, diagonal from the door, the only place the tech guy installed all of the wiring for my electronic necessities. I was a virtual sitting duck. Painted into a corner. Trapped like a rat. There's no way I could have outrun the guy. But I think I could have done some damage wielding a hard plastic chair.

All this was running in my subconscious while I worked, like a computer program running in the background. Then, it happened. Dude came into my room, and asked for some scissors. SCISSORS! The perfect murder weapon. Actually, that would be an icicle. But I'm sure scissors would suffice as long as he knew how to get rid of evidence. 

And I gave him the scissors!

Because I'm not a misandrist. Just a Nervous Nelly.

Dude brought back my scissors and thanked me. I never did look him in the eye. I'm sure the majority of women who are snatched while jogging or birdwatching or waiting for a bus or...I don't know...working after hours in their classroom...think a random dude is harmless. Until he snatches them.

I locked up my room and started the long walk down the hall to where I park at the end of the building. I resisted the urge to look over my shoulder. When I saw my car through those exit-only doors, my heart beat a little faster. There was a big white car parked directly beside my black SUV. The only two vehicles in the parking lot. That's what you'd do, right? All those spaces to choose from, and you'd take the one farthest from the unlocked entrance door. You'd park so that your driver's door was next to the lone car's driver's door, right? That's how normal people think. I'm sure.

Something is rotten in Backroads.


Stephen Hayes said...

You gave him scissors? I laughed, but I really shouldn't have.

Sioux said...

So, are you deliberately not filling us in, or are you left at the edge of the cliff as well? Who was this guy? Was he in that closet, busily cutting through lots of red tape?

Linda O'Connell said...

Woman when your hackles rise, run!

Anonymous said...

Scissors were blunt nosed I hope

labbie1 said...

He wasn't wearing nothing but a trench coat in that closet and moaning was he?

Did I really write that?

Tell us the rest of the story already Ms Harvey!

Kathy's Klothesline said...

We know you weren't kidnapped and made it home since you wrote this. But, why would you wordlessly hand over your scissors? Couldn't you say you didn't have scissors? I mean, instead of standing up and pointing the scissors at him and demanding that he identify himself. And why did you not lock yourself in your room when you saw him? Wasp spray, you need to keep a can of wasp spray in your desk. Hit him in the eye and he will be incapacitated ....

Val said...

My momma raised me right, to be polite. Like Renee Zellweger told Nicole Kidman about Kathy Baker in Cold Mountain: "She'd let a wolf in if it knocked at the door."

I had no idea who he was until this morning. A secretary told me it was the guy who services the microfiche machine every two or three years. Like that makes him a regular around here.

ANNNDDDD, to make it all the more creepy, she said he parked out front. So there was a phantom car next to me. I really should have looked under my vehicle before I walked up to get in. I have no desire to be an urban legend.

I need to start working out if I'm going to be accosted by scissor-stabbers.

They were pointy black-handled scissors, the lightweight, very sharp, Fiskars type, that I bought for myself at Walmart and took to school to become the envy of all faculty on my hall. Pride goeth before a stabbing, I suppose.

At least a trench coat and some moaning activity might have slowed him down.

I didn't want to appear rude. I was afraid he was related to somebody important, and was there looking at old school records on the microfiche.

Locking myself in the room would have been akin to sitting helplessly in a car while Cujo lay in wait.

It's been quite comforting to see how all of you jump to my aid, advising me to lie, run, watch a perv to see if he's perving, be selfish with my stuff, turn antisocial, and blind someone with wasp spray.