Saturday, January 13, 2018

Creepy, Huh?--"Thank You Ashley Madison" excerpt

Wednesday, March 20

     Shana creeps me out. We began attending monthly Kabbalah classes at the same time and after we were partnered together once, she began sitting next to me and sizing me up with her shifty piercing eyes.
     I attended a Purim party at the Kabbalah center not long ago and everyone dressed up in costumes. I wore a suede fringe hippie vest, a loud pink shirt, and torn jeans and found a seat for the service between a woman wearing a generic white paper mask over her face and a person dressed as a either a harlequin or hangman. The harlequin/hangman wore a black polyester sack with the eyes and mouth cut out over his or her head and a harlequin mask on top of it. He or she was draped in a long black robe and refused to speak and rarely moved.
     “I tried to get him to talk but he won’t,” the woman with the paper mask whispered loudly. “He’s been sitting there a long time and he won’t talk to anyone. I was glad when you sat down.”
     I looked directly at the harlequin/hangman. He or she stared straight ahead, folded gloved hands resting in their lap. I turned toward the woman with the paper mask. I raised an eyebrow.
     “Creepy, huh?” she asked.
     I nodded.
     “Want to switch seats with my husband? I’ll make him sit there.”
     I didn’t want to hurt the harlequin/hangman’s feelings, but I didn’t want to sit next to it either. I switched seats. The harlequin/hangman got up and left.
     “I’m feeling kind of bad now,” the woman said.
     “They knew they were creeping us out,” I said. “They could have put an end to it.”
     “Yeah, you’re right.”
     After the Purim reading everyone began socializing. The Harlequin/hangman stood near the hotdog stand and slid the harlequin mask to the top of his or her head and began fiddling with the head sack. No way a hotdog was fitting through that mouth hole. The harlequin/hangman pulled the sack off. It was Shana.
     Feeling guilty about hurting her feelings, I walked over. “You gave everyone the creeps,” I said.
     “Yeah, well, you know.” She mumbled.
     A man walked over and complimented Shana on her costume and I bolted.
     This morning, all the tables were filled at Kabbalah class by the time I arrived. I sat in a chair in the back. Ten minutes later, Shana walked in, moved a chair next to mine, and sat so close we could touch. The presentation ended and we were asked to write twelve goals and share them with our group. Ruth walked over to Shana and me.
     “Move your chairs to a table,” she said. “Get in a group.”
     “I just want to share with Brenda,” Shana said.
     Ruth looked uncomfortable. “I’ll move,” I said, relieved to be ditching Shana.
     “Thanks,” Ruth said.
     I dragged my chair to Mike and Angie’s table and Shana found space at another. When class ended, I bolted, drove to the indoor driving range on my way home, and hit balls for an hour. As I was getting ready to leave, Golf Guy walked over.
     “How’d it go?” he asked.
     “Better, but not good,” I laughed. “Thanks for the tips. They helped.”
     “Why don’t I give you a few more?” he asked. “I can take some video, too.”
     “I could use the help.”
     “Call me.”
     “Okay, I will.”

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