I have been sick all day, started late last night, with an awful fever, sore throat and headache. Every time I swallowed, it felt like my throat was sticking together. I’m sure I have strep, this is the way it always starts.
Anyway, I tell you all that, because I pretty much stayed on my bed all day, watching True Crime TV. I don’t know why I watch these shows. I guess because I want to understand how the evil mind works, so I can avoid those people with such minds.
It might be also because I had a brush with someone who I think may have been a really evil person. Back when I was living in Seattle, I used to love driving down the Washington and Oregon coast, staying in little rickety hotels, listening to the seals and gulls, and the distant clanging of the buoys travelling eerily across the darks waters at night.
On one of these trips, I had stopped at a beach, to take photos, and just watch the midday sun send rivulets of gold along the water, as the waves rolled in. I was enjoying the day, with the light breeze, and the smell of salt in the air. But I sensed I was being watched, not by a normal person, who would just casually glance at you and then look away. But I felt I was being almost studied. I quickly looked behind me, and didn’t notice anything at all, but then on a second look, I saw the man. He was quite a distance away, across the sand. The back doors of his white panel van were open, and he was sitting on the bed of the van. Just staring. From across the sand I could feel his menacing eyes. Watching. I felt like prey. Unable to shake of the overwhelming sense of discomfort, I scurried back to my car, which thankfully was in a different parking lot down the end of the other of the beach.
I could not get this creepy guy out of my mind as I drove south along the coast. But I also thought perhaps I was just being a bit paranoid. This was during the time the Green River killer and his exploits were on the news. I drove several hours south, stopping in a little quaint beach side town (one of many). It was late afternoon, and my uneasiness from earlier in the day, had faded. I found a little motel, a Mom and Pop type of place, with little cottages and hanging baskets of impatiens. It was charming. It was just the type of establishment I loved.
I ambled into the office register and chatted with owner of the motel. She told me about places the locals went to eat, which are always the best places in town to eat. I thanked her, and trotted off to my little cottage to take a nap. And it was a lovely nap. I had the windows open, and the curtains fluttered with the breeze. And I slept without dreams. Just a deep, rejuvenating slumber, from which you awake, unable to recall your location, the day and the time.
With the adventures of the day, the sea air and the nap, I had become famished. I grabbed my wallet, and keys – which is all I had brought into the room with me. I opened the door to my cottage, and directly to the right of my car, was the white van. With the man. Staring at me. The same man who was at the beach, the same man sitting in the back of his van. Staring. A face with no affect, just black beady eyes, pulsating waves of evilness.
Not really thinking clearly, I was in flight or fight mode, I bolted to my car, fumbled inserting the key into the lock. Once inside, I locked the doors, I started the engine, threw the stick-shift in reverse and squealed out of the parking lot. I didn’t look to see if he followed me, I just drove and drove and drove – all the way home.
I would like to tell you he was just a guy in a white van, doing the same thing I was doing – enjoying the beaches, and the summer day. But I can’t. There was something so sinister about the guy, something so evil that I know in my heart, he meant harm. I have never forgotten his eyes, and that was 25 years ago.