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by on October 2, 2010

He loves me. I know he does. I have seen the signs.

When I first saw him he was toying with his tie. Loosening it, tugging it, worrying it. The cop he played was in Miami and it was supposed to be hot and humid and sticky. But he was all style and class: that tie would never come off.

I knew what he meant by playing with it. I knew what he was telling me.

Last night when he put his fingers to his lips (contemplatively, gently) he was telling her that he no longer loved her. He didn’t want to be having coffee with her, didn’t want to be in the restaurant with her. But he’s too polite — he couldn’t just come out and say it. Still, she didn’t get the message. She should have. She should have seen the signs, read the signals. He’s not meant for her.

All evening he kept glancing over at me.

He knew I was there. We were in the same room and I couldn’t take my eyes off of him; his presence was overpowering. When he looked at me it was electric. When he walked up to me and shouted, I felt angry — but it was something he had to do, to keep up his heterosexual façade for her. The feeling of his clenched, taut fists hitting me — God. Oh God.

The waiter didn’t understand and threw me out. But the world can’t keep us apart.

Tonight I’m going to his house. His wife needs to be told. She needs to know. She can’t come between us forever.

  1. Enjoyed the obsessed lead character a lot in this.Love the internal justifications and misguided interpretation of evidence.
    I enjoyed that fact that he was an actor and famous thus the rationalisations seem more reasonable – ‘keeping up the hetro-facade’ 🙂

    I think it might be better if it were a little less over the top but I felt a deep sad sympathy for the character – his near-insane world-view is kind of sweet and innocent. I like the way there is no sense of violence or anger in his obsession.

  2. Lovely sense of the obsessive private world of an unhinged stalker – the self-justifications and entirely narcissistic viewpoint ring very true, and are both sad and disturbing. The build-up to the broken-off response to the actual physical contact is very powerful. I’m not sure if I’m being end-of-week obtuse, though, I’m not sure how you got to this from the theme – ghost of what, or whom? The speaker is the ghost in the actor’s life? It doesn’t quite gel for me, but as I say, I may be missing something obvious. But I enjoyed this, thank you.

    • Nantalith and Maximilian are right: I intended it to be a ghost as in a stalker. I hope it’s not too far out of left field. I’m glad you enjoyed it 🙂

  3. [Ghost as in shadowing someone, yes?]

    Liked this a lot.
    You’ve got the creepy stalker voice down pat.
    Which would be kinda scary if I didn’t know that you are actually a very nice guy ;).
    The rationalisations / misinterpretation of the stalkee’s actions are great.

    Really enjoyed the shouting and beating paragraph.
    > The feeling of his clenched, taut fists hitting me — God. Oh God.
    was especially good.

    A bit crazy, but well written!

  4. I thought the ghost link might have been with the wife [I got the impression the stalker was going to kill her] but I think comovedy has it – shadowing.

    I really enjoyed the misinterpretations, I think it gave the stalker credibility in his insanity.

    • Yeh, as you and the Max say, I intended it as a shadowing thing. Thanks for the comments, Nantalith.

  5. cbraz permalink

    This was powerful, obsessive and emotionally intense. I really enjoyed it and it rang true for me all the way through. I particularly enjoyed the focus on detail: his movie role and the tie interaction in the first paragraph, having coffee in the second. I also enjoyed the descriptions of misreading signals – we all do it to some extent (read things into actions or don’t see what signals are telling us), so it was interesting to read an extreme of that.

    Like Doc I am unsure about the Ghost connection. My preconceptions based on the theme misled me a little, which made my first reading a little confused. But then I understood and re-read it and it all fell into place.

    Also, while I enjoyed the hitting bit and the stalker’s reaction, I thought the actor’s reaction to the stalker was a bit extreme as we hadn’t had any history of repeated meetings. I wanted some history to justify the physical violence or more description of how the actor was provoked.

  6. parfles permalink

    This is powerful writing, and very good character insight. (Scarily good!!! 🙂

    My main criticism is that I feel the connection to the theme is too weak. I did not get it at all, and I kept trying to figure if one of the characters was a ghost, which distracted me. When I found the answer in the comments, I still did not feel it really spoke to the theme.

    I think this is because if we are talking about ghost in that sense, the shadow sense, then the confrontational tone of the last paragraph or two is out of character for me – this is not a protagonist that is silently shadowing like a ghost, he is actively trying to get involved in his target’s life.

    That aside, it is a strong story in its own right, regardless of theme. thank you!

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