Close Encounters

“I can look straight into the nucleus of the sun. Most people would go blind but when I look at it, I look straight through it.” If anything was going to divert my attention away from the book in my hands as I sat at the bus stop, that was it. I looked up to see a man stood in front of me and facing away, wearing brown snakeskin cowboy boots, jeans and an oversized black jacket with beading stitched onto the back in a Native American design. He then went on to advise the woman to his right, whom I learnt was, “Sue. Spelt S-U-E,” that he had predicted John Lennon’s death on Christmas Day in 1966. “I predicted my own dad’s death,” he continued. “I never get it wrong. Otherwise they would be sad.” The arrival of the 19a brought an end to my eavesdropping.
Whilst I dealt with my fair share of nutjobs back in Malta, they were mostly the mumbling, feet-shuffling kind. Since moving to Ireland I’ve encountered a more confident breed of crazies.
One I won’t forget in a hurry is the man who proposed to me at a set of traffic lights. As I stood waiting for the lights to change, I felt someone standing particularly close to me. Looking to my right, I was faced with a sparkly ring, held in a hand attached to the outstretched arm of an earnest looking man. “I love you. Marry me. I love you, I love you.” Not what you want to hear from a stranger on a quiet street after dark. I normally ignore these types of people but was rather unsettled by the way his eyes darted about erratically and moved a few steps away, telling him to leave me alone. Not to be deterred, he took two steps closer and nudged me in the arm with the ring. “Marry me. Marry me, marry me. I love you long time.” I know I should have been worried but I couldn’t help but want to laugh at that last one. Thankfully the little green man meant it was time to go and the man who had declared his love for me didn’t follow.

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5 Responses

  1. Gativa says:

    Those two sound like perfect characters for a story. Maybe the second guy lost someone who you reminded him of…it's curious what those story behind the madness could be.

  2. madmalteaser says:

    Tut tut Hannah. They're not 'nutjobs'! That's a very politically incorrect term and not fair on nuts.

    I prefer MMMMMAADDDDD!!! Said loudly with wide, staring eyes. Or cuckoo, psycho or mental are equally as good.

  3. Davinia says:

    Oh! That first one! If you don't write a story based on the man who predicts people's deaths, I will!

  4. Mark says:

    I'm very intrigued by the marry me guy!

  1. August 28, 2012

    […] I also had the Upper Barrakka Gardens to myself – well, for the most part. There was a strange looking man who kept looking in my direction and gave me the creeps, but every city has its weirdos. […]

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