Thursday 1 November 2007


My long-term, long-suffering close personal friend is a little jumpy to say the least. It doesn't take a great deal to frighten her - spiders, rising interest rates and the resurgance of 80's fashion trends all have pretty much the same effect.

I frighten her too - not because I am grotesque and creepy (because she is used to that by now). I seem to frighten her just by... being. For example, by being stood behind her when she is doing her hair in the mirror, lost in her own thoughts and unaware that I have come into the room. Her reaction is the same each and every time - she raises her arms defensively, emits the meekest of screams and then, realising its me, slaps me.

Given that we have been sharing the same house and bed for some years now, I foolishly thought she might be used to seeing me about the place at this stage. My somewhat laissez-faire attitude to life has wreaked havoc on her slight OCD tendencies so she is definitely aware of my presence. The whole situation of my simply "being" frightening her used to leave me feeling like somehow I didn't belong in my own home, that I should pad quietly about so as not to disturb her life. Sadly this quiet padding didn't really help, resulting, as it did, in me getting closer behind her, more quietly, when she wasn't expecting it.

Now it provides a source of much merriment, mostly derived from my belief that her meek screams wouldn't really attract attention if she were actually in great peril. It would be akin to shouting "Help.... but only if you're not too busy and it's not too much of an intrusion". Now, I actively try to frighten her. (Childish I know!) I move about the house with the stealth and guile of a (slightly clumsy) ninja. I stand outside rooms she is in, my face pressed against the door so, when she opens it, I'm unexpectedly standing there. I take the biggest knife in the kitchen and sneak into the bathroom when she is showering, pull back the curtain and shout "Eek! Eek! Eek!" while making vicious stabbing motions a la "Psycho". (Unfortunately, the close personal friend has never seen "Psycho").

Halloween was my flawed masterpiece. We were locking the house up for the night. I had some stuff to do in the back garden, she had to go out to the drive to lock her car. I tinkered about in the garden, peeking through the window watching, waiting for her to head for the front door - then i made my move. I crept down the side of the house, pressed myself against the wall and when she stepped into the garden, leaving the sanctuary of the house behind, sprang out from her left hand side going "Ooooooooohhhhhhhh!" (like a ghost who's just not putting the same amount of effort into his haunting as he used to). She turned, raised her hands defensively, gave a proper scream and looked horrified. I received the usual clatters about the chest and head when she realised it was me. I gave her the usual great big hug because her reaction, when she realises its me and looks angry and amused all at the same time, is so cute.

I thought is was hilarious, she thought it was hilarious. What type of attacker will come at you going "Ooooooooohhhhhhhh!"? (One with no tongue maybe?) We hugged tightly and laughed lots. Then all I could see in my mind was how horrified she looked. Then I realised that it hadn't just been a normal case of "I didn't realise you were there" - it was pure, genuine and absolute terror. That was when it stopped being funny. That was when I hugged her tighter and tighter and apologised repeatedly.

The thing is, on any given day a woman somewhere will turn as a man unexpectedly comes at her. She will raise her arms in an effort to protect herself and she will scream. And she will continue to scream because it won't be her childish boyfriend who will later hug her tightly and laugh with her.

I still feel suitably ashamed.

1 comment:

KYRIE said...

Dude, your poor girlfriend! I pity the woman :) U gonna give her a heart attack soon!