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When you look up the word “weenie” in the dictionary, you’ll find a smiling photo of me, hands up, with a “What can I say, you got me!” expression on my face. I have no problem jumping out of a plane or riding a motorbike in Vietnam, but sleeping alone in my own home gives me butterflies. Walking alone in the dark to my car parked just outside my house? Who do you think I am, Catwoman??
So you can only imagine the Depends I should’ve been wearing when I walked out of my house at dawn yesterday, dressed in my running clothes and bathing in my self-satisfied morning-person glory, to look across the street and see a hooded figure meandering in the exact direction of my jog. At 6:15 in the morning. In 70 degree weather. Without a dog or any other sane reason for being outside at that hour.
Our eyes met from across the street—or at least I think they did, considering the huge dark hood blocking his face—and I can only imagine that my expression resembled that of a squirrel caught with a nut. “Oh hey! I wasn’t doing anything here! I’m clearly sleepwalking (err, jogging?) and didn’t mean to disturb you violating my neighborhood with your terrifying early-morning hooded sulk! Please, continue on your way to frighten other neighbors!”
I crept back inside as nonchalantly as one can in that situation, then did what anyone would do: watched him ramble down the street until a safe distance away, then ran to my car holding my keys like a weapon, locked my doors immediately and held my breath until I got to the gym.
An hour later, I come back from the gym having nearly forgotten about the whole thing, until I see him. Standing in front of my neighbor’s house. Trying to look nonchalant while admiring her rose bush. Up close. For 15 minutes straight.
If anyone needs me, I’ll be huddled inside the closet, posing for Webster’s.