(Photo by Yuval Boim)
As I was sitting down in my backyard with tea, a woman walked up my driveway.
“Hi, sorry to bother you. I’m out canvassing. I represent a company that fixes roofs, checks for leaks, observes windows and sun streaks…”
On, and on. We must have chatted for seven or eight minutes, and this is after I told her I’m not the owner — I rent. That, there should have ended the conversation. I would also like to note that I enjoyed the conversation, although even at the time, I questioned why it was going on for so long — and I would be lying if I did not admit there was an area of minute panic surrounding us. At times I felt someone might have come out of the dark to attack me, or invade my home. I would also like to note that the recent setting back of the clocks has left me a little uneasy due to reliance on time based on the light of day; I had gotten used to being in a certain place with a certain atmosphere of light, and all that has changed.
As I playback the conversation in my head, and really examine what occurred, I am compelled to seek further understanding of just who this woman was.
Thing to Note:
She controlled the conversation.
She asked more questions. (Again, this is after confessing I’m not the owner.) The conversation at that point should have been over.
Her answers were as varied as a grad student.
Personality was bubbly, and inoffensive, I would say endearing.
Seems as though she enjoys her family.
There was something put on about her behavior.
Relaxed, but with an effort.
She dominated with questions. Though to read this list one after another one might think I was insane for not abruptly leaving and heading inside. I want to stress that we were in conversation, I was forthcoming in my responses — and we both spoke quickly.
1. Are you the homeowner?
2. How many people live here?
3. Where are you from?
4. How long have you been living in the States?
5. Is that your scooter?
6. What’s your occupation?
7. When can she see me in something?
8. What theatre am I working at?
9. Is that in Maryland?
10. Are you a coach? (In response to saying “I frequent the Aquatic Center.”)
11. Can I have a glass of water?
I got out a couple:
1. Do you know Greenbelt?
2. Do you live in the area?
3. Do you swim?
4. Do you see much theatre?
Snippets that stood out:
1. I can’t swim.
2. I’m in good shape from walking up and down this block.
3. I’ve been canvassing since 2pm.
4. I would swim, just to go into the jacuzzi.
5. So you’re like James Franco and Benedict Cumberbatch? Teaching people how to be cool?
6. Is that in Maryland? (After telling her I work at STC.)
7. I know you would invite me to sit down (After telling her I was leaving soon.)
1. When she first arrived my impression was that she was a friend of my neighbors.
2. When she asked for water for some reason I had the idea she might be pregnant.
3. She had a brace of some kind on her left arm.
4. She happened to be pretty — in a homely kind of way.
Why didn’t I ask for a business card? I watched her go when she said goodbye and she stopped at my neighbors house across the street. She was walking to the next house in less than ten seconds. She went towards another house, then decided against it, and walked away. Not sure if she had a car waiting on her, or a friend who was driving.
The outcome is our conversation should have ended after I said I wasn’t the home owner. The conversation we had — if with a friend — would have been enjoyable and not the least bit odd. Because it was a stranger, and someone entering a contract of I-am-selling-something-do-you-want-it: our interaction was incongruous. It made me suspicious. A little during the conversation, and a lot now.
My final analysis: She is a spy in training, and I was her first mission. Mission was to extract information from a “harmless.” She absolutely succeeded. She got me to go into my home, and get her a glass of water. I wonder if in that time she placed a bug underneath my picnic table, or directly on to my phone. In addition, I would describe the way she placed the glass down on the patio table (after draining the cup) as polite. A raised eyebrow, smile, and the final “clink” of the glass on the small table — as though asking permission to leave the glass there, or thanking me for future cleaning of the glass. You could see her manners. There was something not right about it.
I also have three bites near my butt. On the left cheek. It might be related, it might not.