You see, in the examples I am about to give, I consider these darker, more paranoid-sounding interpretations as just one of two or more possible interpretations of what is going on. I try to play to more than one possibility when I make decisions about how to handle these scenarios. That seems to work for me, and in each of the examples I will give, I am satisfied with the outcome, whatever was or was not going on in reality.
I've talked about the waitress at the restaurant who started in on me in June of 2012. I had worked at this restaurant in the Summer of 1990. I made a bad impression on some of the female staff and the owner. My mental illness was still untreated at this time, and I had put myself on a downwardly directed path the prior Spring when I came to have the conviction that I'd made a terrible mistake when I let Sara go in 1988. By the time I worked at this restaurant in the Summer of 1990, I was trying to stay true in my heart to Gwen, a fellow student at SVA, and I had hopes that Gwen and I would consummate our true, everlasting love when I returned to SVA in the Fall of 1990. The disconnect from reality of this mindset was in full effect as I proceeded to give some of the staff at this restaurant the willies.
Another reason this waitress started in on me in the Summer of 2012, I believe, was that I went out of my way to say hi to her a few times in the months prior. I had stopped doing this by the Summer of 2012.
Another reason that this waitress started in on me, I believe, was due to a t-shirt that I would wear that read, "I support single mothers," and featured a silhouette of a stripper on a pole. I'd had a heated argument with a female relative about this shirt just a week or so before I mark the time, I believe, that this waitress began her campaign.
I sat in the restaurant, and as I sat there in the process of dining, this waitress started talking to another member of the waitstaff about the difficulties she was having with her ex-husband. She said that her ex-husband told her that he still longed to be intimate with her, even though he had since remarried. She also talked about the situation with their young children.
I thought that this was pretty personal stuff for someone to talk about within earshot of diners in her restaurant. The argument that I'd had with my family member about the single mothers t-shirt was still fresh in my mind, so I put two and two together. I wasn't wearing the t-shirt at the time that this waitress had this very personal conversation about her life with her coworker. I decided that I would make a point of not wearing that shirt whenever I ate at this restaurant. I would not call attention to this change. I wanted to see if she or anyone else would notice this difference on their own. Ain't I a stinker?
This was a neighborhood diner type place, so I would eat breakfast there frequently. I had forgotten all about pursuing this waitress romantically. As the months progressed, I would sometimes glare at her as I sat at the counter as if to say, "What do you have for me now?" She looked pretty uncomfortable with that.
In September of 2012. I sat in the back dining room to eat breakfast. I was one of the first customers that day. This waitress usually didn't come in that early. A male waiter took my order. He asked me how I was doing. I said I was doing fine. As he walked away, he sings the beginning of the Carpenter's hit, "Close to You." You know: "Why do birds suddenly appear/ every time, you are near/ just like me/ they long to be/ close to you." I didn't know enough to connect this to that waitress. I had shrugged all of that off earlier that Summer.
I never came close to asking this waitress out. I would still glare at her from time to time in a challenging way, but that was about it. She seemed pretty frustrated or irked, though. By the Spring of 2013, another waitress started acting really friendly to me in an over-the-top way. I responded by not going in there for several months. When I started going in there again. This other waitress was still being really friendly, so I asked her out. She politely said that she was seeing someone, and that was that.
I gave this other waitress copies of my two CDs. One of the CDs had the two "Richy Vegas, the Blind Assassin," songs on it. This other waitress quit soon thereafter. I saw her at a coffee shop not long after she quit. She was being real surly, as if her prior friendliness to me was an act.
I wondered whether any of the staff had heard the "Bling Assassin" songs. Those songs go into my experience of my breakdown over Jenna, the object of my desire in 1991/92, and Billy Billliams, a serial date rapist whom I came to believe had targeted Jenna, and whom I came to believe that I had thwarted. As to whether any of the other staff at that restaurant had heard the songs or heard about the songs, I don't know. I remember one time an older woman who prepped food there, and who worked there when I worked there in 1990, said something to another staffer about how, "You wonder if he is one of those guys himself," or something like that.
That kind of remark didn't phase me by that time. Normal people seem to project the worst things they can imagine onto mentally ill people. That's why so many mentally ill people were subjected to witch hunts during the Counter Reformation. You see, I saw my patronage of that restaurant as a one man civil rights protest by that time. I tried not to bother anyone when I ate there, I mention how I would kind of glare a bit at that waitress whom I suspected of starting in on me, but I tried to keep that kind of thing down to a dull roar, really.
During this time that I wondered whether those employees had heard the "Blind Assassin" songs or heard about them, I remember one day when I said something like, "Have a nice day," or ,"See you later," to that waitress I sensed a conflict with. She stood at an empty table and looked down at the salt and pepper shakers, and the ketchup container and whatnot as she arranged them just so and said, "Have a good one," in a friendly manner. Some days or weeks later, I sat at the counter. I said hi to her and asked her how's it going, and she smiled real big as she turned and greeted me.
As I sat there at the counter, she starts talking to this one new guy. He was young and handsome, alright. They banter back and forth in a manner reminiscent of those characters in those old thirties comedies This waitress starts talking about a Texas/OU football viewing party that she will have the next day to some of the staff. I finish eating and say, "See you later," and leave.
I go to Houston that weekend. On the following Monday morning, I go into that restaurant first thing. Another waitress there rolls her eyes as I walk in. I figured that the new guy that my adversarial waitress was talking to was her new boyfriend by the time I first laid eyes on him the previous Friday afternoon, and that I was out of the running as a rival for her affections from the very start.
In the late Winter/early Spring of 2014, another waitress returned to work there after some time away. This waitress was always friendly with me. I remembered paying the check at the cash register, and how this waitress glowered at me with the cold, pale blue eyes. She looked really pissed off at me. I guess being mentally ill but at the same time able to take care of myself against her adversarial friend really pissed this gal off. Mentally ill people exist to be fucked over by the likes of her and her friend, I guess.
Anyhoo, some weeks later, I sit at that restaurant for a late breakfast. The waitress who made the mistake of starting in on me goes 'tsk' as I'm interacting with her in the course of going through the motions of eating there. Later, her boyfriend goes 'tsk' as well, as he fills my water glass or brings me my food.
The guy who sang a few bars of "Close to You" in September of 2012 emphatically clarifies an order that an older man at a nearby table made. "You just want plain buttermilk pancakes, no chocolate chips, or bananas or anything. Just plain old regular pancakes, right?" the customer seemed taken aback by how the waiter asked him, and he said, "Yes."
One possible interpretation I came up with was that I was supposed to go out of my way to pay romantic attention to the blue-eyed waitress friend whenever she worked there. I did not do this. First off, it's true, I can't read minds. I can only make guesses such as the guess at the beginning of this paragraph. Guessing is part of the scientific method. Second, I don't like being addressed in that manner about such a desire. Believe it or not, friends, both male and female, of women who had taken something of an interest in me in the past would just come out and tell me, "Janet likes you," or, "Mary had this or that nice thing to say about you." I'm not a fucking animal. Okay?
So the adversarial waitress had a newfound respect for me when it became apparent that I dismissed that 'tsk' stuff as the inconsequential bullshit that it was. That didn't last long, though. In May of 2014, a mass shooter named Elliot Rodger went on a rampage in California. He was an emotionally disturbed, white, twenty-two year old virgin who had fairly well-off parents. He posted a manifesto and a video proclaiming his hatred for attractive young women he felt owed him love and sex, because he was such a worthy, nice guy. Not long after this, I sat in that restaurant and glared at that waitress as she started her shift. I glared at her because I didn't really like her, not because I sympathized with Elliot Rodger, but I guessed later that day that she might make that connection, so I prepared for another round.
Later that Summer, I sat in that restaurant in the early morning, and the guy who serenaded....someone... with a few bars of "Close to You," in 2012 started talking about his cat's vet. Her name was Dr. Love. "Dr. Love, heh heh." The adversarial waitress didn't work at that place that early in the morning, so I usually didn't see her.
I must emphasize, I found this person physically attractive, and I would have hopes from time to time that she had changed her mind about me. So it was at one of these junctures that I talked to her one day. It was on this occasion that she shook in a pronounced fashion as she interacted with me. In the time after I saw this from her, I interpreted this shaking as pent up, barely suppressed rage at me.
So the next time I saw her there, I decided to ask her if I could put in a Facebook friend request for her. I had found her on there using the usual search engine shenanigans, but I thought that it might be nice if I asked her before putting in the request. She said that it was okay, but then her tone got angrier and snottier when she said that she didn't use Facebook much. I asked, "But you would be aware if I put in a..." "YEAH, I WOULD BE AWARE," she shouted.
I put in a Facebook friend request for her soon afterwards. She never accepted it. Some days later, as she stood behind the register as I paid my ticket, her righteous work-boyfriend stepped up and took my ticket as if to make a show that he would protect her from me. She seemed satisfied with this. I thought, "Well, she's satisfied that she won our little war, so I guess I will let it go at that."
Some months later, I went into the restaurant, and as I sat down, the blue-eyed waitress friend of my "enemy," smiled and said demonstratively, "Like your Butthole Surfers t-shirt, Richard." They had figured it out. I think it was because the blue-eyed waitress had started working there after I'd decided to quit wearing the "I support single mothers" t-shirt. My adversarial waitress came up and looked at me wide-eyed as she waited on me- is if she'd seen something of the real me for the first time.
A while back I said that I didn't have any issues with this person anymore, because she didn't seem to have any issues with me anymore. I wrote that on this blog on the heels of my fantastical dustup with the Invisible Woman, a drama that I speculated was instigated by a woman who still had issues with me dating back to the 1980's. But yeah, I still have issues with the waitress who took two-plus years to figure out the t-shirt move. Especially since I ate there one time earlier this year, and a waitress whom I didn't even know decided it was okay to be really rude to me. I ate there soon after the post about how men who don't call themselves feminists and who go through a phase where they call women out on their shit just might be more trustworthy than men who seem to center their moral code and their code of conduct around the acceptance and approval of women. I cited my friend Vernon Hoe as one of the former, and uber-fiend serial killer, rapist, and necrophliac Ted Bundy as an example of the latter, but I don't know who really reads this thing, so I don't know. I think I made my point with my long drawn out civil rights protest of a few years ago, and I just don't feel like taking any more shit off of anyone when I go somewhere to eat these days.
Speaking of which, that brings me to the next story. I started eating breakfasts at another place sometime in 2015 or thereabouts. I would drop my dad off at work and then go eat at this place. There was an attractive young waitress at this place. By this time, I had given up on the idea of finding dates with the employees of such places. I also had started writing on this blog. By this time I had the sense that people in my everyday-patronizing-businesses world, and especially the employees of these businesses, might actually have found this blog somehow and read it. I must emphasize that this is an impression that I get, and I have never had anyone in any of these places come out and say this is a fact. I just got the idea one time that a female employee of a business saw me wearing my Richy Vegas t-shirt and did a web search for that name and found this web site and this blog. It was that virgin girl at that one business, and I had written a little about how I'd busted a "very young" woman on this blog by then. She started smiling at me as I went about my business at this place, but that bulge in her belly would have belied any claims that she was still a virgin at that point.
I told Vernon Hoe of my thoughts about this one time, and seeing as how Vernon Hoe is the head of the League, he might have thought it would a good idea if others in my everyday-patronizing-businesses world knew about my blog as well. The ways of the League, an organization that maybe doesn't even exist, are indeed a mystery even to me.
So I got the impression that this waitress at this restaurant, and other employees there, might have been hipped to this blog, and so it went from there. I would be pretty courteous to her and others, but I would kind put up a standoffish front, because I really didn't want to get started with this attractive young waitress or anyone else there. So I would write on this blog about my struggles, as I am now, and I would wonder who all would read this stuff in my world.
So, sometime in the late Summer/ early Fall of 2016, this attractive waitress started being kind of rude to me when I ate there. I kind of figured that maybe the gunfighter mentality had come over her and that she wanted to try me. I stopped going there for a while. I cooked breakfast at home or ate in other places. After about a month and a half, I went back in there. She and the others still worked there. She remarked that she hadn't seen me in a while.
She was talking to this one waiter. A newer guy with a shaved head, well built, tall, handsome, had a manly voice. She was telling him about how she had moved to Austin when she was twelve, and the year that was, which made her twenty-five or thereabouts. She said this twice.
I paid my ticket and left. As I walked through the dining room, another male waiter, a guy I liked, said, "Have a good one," in a sort of a wary sounding voice. I scowled at this waitress as I walked by and left. I decided that I didn't want to eat there again in the foreseeable future. I figured that this waitress, who on occasion would mention a boyfriend when I ate there before she started being rude to me, was switching out boyfriends and wanted to rope me into her little comedy/drama.
I figured that this waiter she was telling this personal information to, as if she was in the process of getting to know him better, was already her boyfriend, and that she was a putting on some bullshit dog and pony show for the benefit of others. Whether those others were just me or not, I don't know.
Before I ate at that place that morning that she was going on to that waiter about herself, I had written a song about her, "My Girlfriend is a Hatesong." Before I ate there that morning, I'd thought about posting the song on my blog. I thought that she might get a kick out of it, but then I thought better. These kind of women don't ever have the kind of sense of humor that allows them to laugh at themselves. Their sense of humor is always at someone else's expense. Such as a middle-aged, mentally ill man who just wants to eat breakfast in their restaurant and be treated like a human being, but whom they see as a good candidate for playing the role of the guy who loses out on fucking them when they switch out their old boyfriend for a new one.
So, about a month and a half after I decided stop eating there, after I was sure I had the discipline to not eat there again for breakfast for quite some time, I posted "My Girlfriend is a Hatesong" on my blog. "A wholesome fetching thing you were/ the cure for just what ails me/ the same to say for all of you/ a case of barking up the wrong tree." and, "What else goes on this layer/ perhaps another slice of scorn/ how 'bout I load up on Green Giant/ take a shit, you eat the corn." I really didn't want to post that song and then go in there while she worked there just so I could see if she reacted somehow to it. For one thing, she disgusted me by that point, and for another thing, she had as much of a right to earn a living there as anyone else does. That was Fall, 2016. I finally ate there once or twice in late 2017, and it was apparent that she didn't work there anymore, as well as most of the other old employees.
This last story involves someone I'm still in contact with, so I'll try to be as tactful as I can. I've posted about this person recently. I wrote about how she works at a food service place I patronize, and how she's young and very attractive. I've written about how I put in a Facebook friend request for her, and how she never accepted it. I've written about how she would give me flirty looks and gestures here and there in the weeks and months after it became apparent that she was not going to accept my Facebook friend request.
The other day I went in to where she works and she makes a little small talk. She asks me about my plans for the rest of the day, as she usually does, and I tell her. As I'm going to a movie at the Paramount later that day, I wonder if she was trying to make some kind of a point. I wondered if she was trying to emphasize that I might have gotten the wrong idea about her because she asked me questions like this, and that this led me to making the Facebook friend request. Therefore, because I got the wrong idea about her and made a Facebook friend request, I "started" something, and that made it okay for her to go adversarial on me, and that was the gist of the flirty gestures and looks she subsequently threw my way.
Okay, I put in a Facebook friend request because I was a least somewhat hopeful that she would accept it. I certainly did not intend to "start" anything with her. For those of you who find my line of thinking in these stories like that of a frightened alien creature, well maybe so, but I have this way of looking at it: I see efforts to be a loving man in the face of these kinds of interactions and trying to work something out with a romantic love resolution as more of a fear driven impulse than the steps I took to take care of myself. I see taking a chance on any of the above women and giving my all for the cause of love as a more fear driven impulse than the courses of action that I did take. The fear that would drive me to try to be so loving in the face of such attitudes and behaviors from such women I see as the fear of not being liked by such women and those around us, and the fear of loneliness and being alone.
I see my old, admittedly valiant efforts to be a loving man in the face of such adversarial behavior as attempts to manipulate the women that I assigned the role of love interest. I think I do a better job of actually seeing things from such women's points of view these days, and this ability makes it okay for me to be a bit more of a bastard about this stuff. What some may see as unbridled paranoia over inconsequential gestures and interactions, I see as my own personal canary in a coal mine, at least in the case of the stories I told in this very long post.
For anyone who does not necessarily see these stories as the merely paranoid ramblings of an unhinged mind, I want to emphasize that I first came up with the willingness and ability to bail on these deals with that Sara in 1988. Sara was so obnoxious that I just gave myself permission to let her slip through my fingers if it came to that, and it did. I decided in 2012, after going zero for whatever with the waitresses and baristas of that day, plus coming up empty elsewhere with women in my life, that the experiment to "turn my back on love" that I first tried with Sara, and hadn't fully, consciously employed with anyone since Sara in 1988, might not be such a bad approach after all. The initial experiment profoundly affected how I related to every woman I had romantic dealings with after Sara, but in 2012 I decided that it was a line in inquiry that could stand a full-on revival.