The Astronut

 

27.  It’s how old I was when this story happened.  I was living happily in a neighboring city, my roommate and I had been friends since junior high, and we were generally enjoying the summer.  We’d spend days off at the river, tubing/drinking, and we’d spend our work days/nights around town.  It was a great summer, and my porcelain skin actually tanned for the first time since I was a child.

I’d pretty much given up on online dating at this time, after a few fruitless dates.  That was until The Astronut messaged me.  His profile was nice.  He enjoyed music, played guitar, and was a huge fan of comics.  I would talk to him via the computer in email and text messages for the next few weeks, before he finally asked to call me.

The first phone conversation should have had me running for the hills, and if I were as shallow as I had been in my younger years, I’d have done just that.  For when he opened his mouth to speak out came a cross between Pee-Wee Herman and Elmo.  He apologized for his voice first thing, stating matter-of-factly that singing death metal  can completely destroy one’s vocal chords.

As much as it pained me to speak to him on the phone, I continued to talk to him.  He was funny, almost a comedic genius at times.  We decided to meet up for a date later that week.

The date was nice, we went to eat at a Steak house a few blocks from his apartment.  We had a great time, but there was just something I found perplexing about this guy.  His arms.  He had two full sleeves of cartoonish, child-like renderings of stars, and space ships, and astronauts.

He’d always wanted to be an astronaut, but between living in the middle of nowhere and being five foot three, he’d never make the cut.  His hair was red and unruly, and he was covered in freckles.

Now let me say this, I have reddish hair naturally, I have tons of freckles, and that didn’t bother me, but when you put this all together with his cartoonish voice, I was dating The Leprechaun.

I pushed that thought to the back of my mind, and continued on with our fledgling relationship.  We’d been dating for about 2 weeks, when he called out of the blue.

Astronut:  Hey I have to go to Arizona to see my dad.  I’ll be gone a month, I fixed your guitar.  I’ll see you in a month ok?

What was I to say?  He didn’t give me much choice in the matter, he’d rushed off that very day, and I was standing there in the living room of my apartment thinking, “Now how do I get my guitar back?”

Fast forward to three months later, he’d continued to call roughly weekly, to tell me what he’d done that week, and that he’d be there at least another week.  At this point I only wanted my property back; I was through with the little goblin.

Then it happened.  He showed up at my door one day, out of the blue.  I’d been asleep, and had no idea he was going to show up, in fact as I had to work that night, I was not in the mood for entertaining.

Astronut:  Hey! I’m home!

He leans in and attempts to kiss me, I move my head to the side and he only grabs air.  He looks perplexed.

Astronut:  What?  Are you angry at me?
Me: No, not really.  I’m sleeping, I’ll call you later.

I deftly push him out of the doorway, and I close it in his face, before locking the deadbolt, and heading back to bed.  What I did was rude, and I have no problem with that, especially with the turn events were about to take.

The messages began again, almost instantly.

Astronut: So dad gave him his guns, all of them.  I have a 45, a 22, a 38, and a semi-automatic (Insert some gun name here).
Me:  Wow that’s cool, what you need an arsenal for?
Astronut:  It’s not much of an arsenal, I just need it for security.  I don’t live in the safest place in town you know.
Me:  It’s a gated community.  How rough can it be?
Astronut:  We have hud housing here, it’s rough.

Now I don’t know why, but the whole thing had me on high alert.  I seriously rethought ever going to get my guitar.  All those things I’d shrugged off as odd about him, all those things that annoyed me, came flying back in my face.

I was dating a Leprechaun with a predisposition for guns.  I was dating a Leprechaun with weird ass Astronaut Tattoos whom had a predisposition for guns.  I grew more afraid as I thought about it, as the days passed I grew to where I’d barely answer his calls, and didn’t want to leave the house.

My Roommate offered to go with me to get the guitar back, and so we sat up a meet at the guys house, he was so excited because he could show me his new guns.  In fact, he was overly excited.  I was shaking as we pulled into his apartment complex.  We walked through the door, and he hugged me.  I had to bite back more than just revulsion when he touched me.

Since last I’d seen him three weeks prior, I wasn’t sure if he’d even showered.  He called me to his room to get the guitar, I stood in the doorway.  He’d put a weight bench up in his room, his bed was pushed against the far wall, with the mattress leaned to it.  The guns were atop the dresser, each with the clip securely inside the gun, all were pointed at me.

The guitar was resting next to the dresser.  I never moved a muscle, every muscle in my body was rigid, but there was at least one that was threatening a revolt.  Yes I was nearly scared shitless.  He grabs the guitar, and walks out to me.  He says something about how the strings had to set, and now should be great to play on, but in truth I didn’t pay much attention.  I made eyes at my friend to head towards the door, hoping against hope that she’d worked out why we needed to leave.

Her cellphone rang in her pocket.  PERFECT! I thought.  She played the part well, and the level of need she spoke with rivalled my own.  The astronut made requests for me to stay and that he could bring me home, but my friend made the comment that her grandmother was very ill and she wasn’t sure she could drive.

It worked, I was gone, the guitar was back in my possession, and we were almost home.  I didn’t sleep much for the next couple of weeks, until I was sure that the Astronut was done with me.  I’ve had horrible things happen in my life, and never have I ever been that scared.

I try to be a good judge of character, it doesn’t always work obviously, but this guy completely fell off the level of sanity we all strive to achieve.  I was lucky to have escaped with my life, I truly believe that.

And the lesson was learned as well, I’m just not entirely sure what it was.

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2 thoughts on “The Astronut

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  1. Oh my gosh – that was a strange guy! Glad you got the guitar and everything turned out well. I’ve been doing online dating on and off for about 15 years and have tons of weird stories, too. Published story #1 at http://thoughtstipsandtales.wordpress.com/2014/06/19/online-dating-horror-story-1-dont-be-cruel/. There will be lots more. Hope you’re planning to write more dating stories because this one was very enjoyable to read – and I could definitely feel your pain!

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