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Today I donated clothes to the local children's theatre company. It felt good to get rid of stuff, and for a good cause. Not only am I Marie Kondo'ing my wardrobe, I am also asking of my thoughts, attitudes, and habits: Does this spark joy? Ask of capitalism that, as well.

I'm feeling ropey after a few gin and sodas last night, burning off the weird energy of the day. On Monday while walking the dog, I was greeted by a man in a car: Hello! How are you? He was the same man who had asked me if I had any children, and said he had a wife and 7 children back home; he also asked me, on a subsequent occasion, if I would meet him. When I said that I was married, he responded That doesn't matter, we can just meet as friends.

Muttering I'm good, I hurried across the street and into the Bee, a large green for sports. By the time I had reached the end of the park, the man was parked beside the exit, waiting for me. He handed me a folded piece of paper and said, Call me sometime. My private number. Creeped out, I hurried away. At home I gave my husband the paper, still folded.

Thus began a series of texts between romeo and husband, in which husband, pretending to be me, arranged a rendezvous in a car park. Romeo signed his last text XXX. Yesterday, husband confronted romeo, who was dressed in a knitted brown string vest and unbuttoned denim shirt, gold chains glittering in the sun. I know this because my husband took a photo of the creep, glaring into the camera.

Now I feel anxious about leaving the house, having been seen, assessed, and approached in an inappropriate way. We often leave the house unlocked, running errands between house, office, and bar. Now I wonder, in this small town: What if this man sees me leaving the house?


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