Next thing I know I hear a dial tone. Nathan was over at my place in no time,
ringing my doorbell frantically. When I opened the door he burst in and started
looking around my apartment. "Hey, I was just kidding," I said. Nathan looked at
me with rage in his eyes. He ran into my bedroom, checked out my bathroom, and
even looked in my storage closet. He didn't find anyone, but now I think he must
of thought the two imaginary guys had made it out just before he arrived.
And that wasn't the last time he freaked out. Nathan wanted me all to himself.
I couldn't go out with friends without him tagging along. I stopped going out to
clubs and bars, even if he was with me, because he'd have a minor fit if I so much
as looked at another guy. After talking with some of my friends, I realized that
it wasn't going to work out with Nathan - which is when it got worse.
I broke up with Nathan in person, telling him exactly how I felt. He was actually
pretty calm, and assured me that he was so protective because he had had boyfriends
cheat on him in the past. I said I understood, but I still wanted to step back and
let things cool off for a while. He said that was fine, got up from my couch and
left. I didn't see him again until two weeks later.
I was walking down the street on my way to the grocery store when I recognized Nathan's
car on the other side of the road. I noticed he was sitting in the car, staring at me.
I stopped walking and stared back, waved, but he just started up the engine and
drove off. I started becoming more aware of my surroundings after that, and started
to see Nathan around town - a lot. Places I thought he never went, like my favorite
restaurants, the music store, my local supermarket, he was there, but always walked
off when I noticed him.
Then, one day, I came home from work and realized that my apartment had been broken
into. I hadn't given Nathan a key, thankfully, but I couldn't figure how somebody
had gotten in. Nothing was stolen, so it wasn't a robbery, but a lot of my personal
files were scattered around in my office. Credit card bills, cards from my family,
work-related notes - all of these were out on my desk and on my floor. I don't know
why it came to my head just then, but I raced into my bedroom and look in my drawer
for my journal. It was gone. I looked in my closet to make sure the box that held
all my past diaries was still there, but it was gone, too. Nathan was somewhere
reading my life story.
I called the police, but they said they couldn't get a warrant to search his place
unless I was sure it was him. Although stalking is considered a crime in California,
it's gathering proof that's the hard part. So, I had to change my phone number so
I wouldn't get any hang-up phone calls. My work number had to change, too, which
was embarrassing; all my calls had to be screened. I had friends over to spend
the night on a regular basis, and I felt so helpless because I couldn't do anything
Then, one day I saw Nathan as I was coming out of my gym. I started to walk towards
him but he started walking away from me. I ran after him and eventually caught up to
him. "Listen," I almost yelled, "I'm sorry you're fucked up in the head, but I'd
like my journals back. Now!" he just smiled at me and tried to continue walking
away. I put my hand on his shoulder to hold him back. He turned around and pushed
me back. I don't know why I said it, but I felt at that moment I wanted to spite
him: "I'm glad I fucked around on you, asshole!" I screamed.
Then he got that crazed look in his eye and he jumped on me, tackling me to the
ground. Some passerbys pulled him off of me, but that attack was enough for the
police to go pick him up. At his apartment they found my journals and a stack
of unsent letters that basically said that he was going to get me back - whatever
After a psychiatric evaluation, Nathan confessed to stalking me. I pressed charges
and after a trial where he was pretty much bragging about stalking me, Nutty Nathan
was sent away for ten months to prison. He's still in there for three more months,
but I'm afraid of what he might do once he gets out. I don't want to think about it.
Illustration: JOHN KISSEE Text: SAMUEL REISS © Instinct Magazine, All Rights Reserved
What It's Like To Jump Out Of A Plane
What It's Like To Not Get It To Go Down