Thursday, May 05, 2005

Baby In Bath

I dread the online encounter post-mortem call to M that I seem to do on auto-pilot. Typically the call is made on a Saturday noon when J takes her nap and all the world is at peace. M knows right away what this is all about and has admitted to reaching for caffeine because my horror stories make her want to retch otherwise.

I get straight to the point " The man's handle was SpeedDaemon and I responded to his contact. Plead guilty to acting out of boredom and not acuity."

M sighs in exasperation and asks "Where the heck do you pick these zombies ?"

I reply vaguely " You know here and there" knowing that specifics will provoke M to recommence her Dating for Dummies Refresher Course By Phone. She has in the past provided me inspiration for the Dating Guide For Desi Dudettes. Educating is in her genes.

"The dude wrote an intelligent blurb, looked very respectable, works for the government. We exchanged e-mails. Has a daughter a little older than J. Seemed to dote on her. Asked me if I wanted to see a picture. I said sure" dramatically pause at this point for maximum, effect on M

"Well ?" she asks

"He sent me a picture of a pretty seven year old girl in a bath tub covered only in bubbles. The title of the picture being "My Little Bathing Princess" I felt strangely queasy at the choice of picture he chose to share with a complete stranger " I say

"What happens after that ? " M is deathly serious now

"Well, we chat some on-line. He tells me that his ex is fighting tooth and nail to cut him off from his daughter. Claims that she is being vindictive because the alimony deal didn't work out so well for her. The picture of the little girl in tub keeps coming back to me as we chat. He asks if I have a picture of J" second pregnant pause at this point.

"You didn't share any pictures did you ?" M considers me very retarded so I am not surprised at her question. I take no offense either.

"No. Instead I try to find out a little bit more about the deal with ex and daughter. The picture as it turns out was taken when the little girl last visited him. I don't want to think what I am thinking but I can't help myself. It makes me want to throw up" I say

"You really think ?" M asks.

"I don't know. I asked him what went wrong with the marriage - whatever he said was not enough reason for a stay-at-home mom in her late thirties to suddenly file for a divorce. The timing of the whole thing bothered the hell out of me" I said

"Wow" M exhales deeply

"He wanted to meet up" I say

" You did not !!" exclaims M.

"I figured I would like to see the dude in person to see if I could sense any over-powering creep factor. It's important to me, M. I have a daughter too. If I do get hitched with someone I would first need be sure J will be safe with him. How can I tell ? This guy looks and sounds so regular" I say in defense

"So how did that go ?" M asks

"Well, I met him at lunch hour in a public library at the other end of town. Parked several blocks away and walked over. We talked for about twenty minutes. The strange thing I noticed was the aura of harmlessness about him - you know the kind you think would not hurt a fly. Only that it was so strong that I felt totally repelled. Even if that picture thing had not happened, I would have backed out right after that meeting." I say

" So do you think you'll be able to tell about J's safety from meeting a guy ?" M asks " I feel fortunate that I don't have that to worry about" she adds

"I don't know, M. I just believe that J and I are in God's hands. I leave it at that" I felt more resignation than I could convey in words.


bleu said...

Only that it was so strong that I felt totally repelled

Its interesting that you say that. I would think you have a point. The guy was possibly going out of way to make that impression.

Its tough judging people, especially when you are in position where its crucial that you have to and you have to be right.

Chay said...

Hmmm...that reminds me, did u see Larry king live last night?? it was a psycho-path, sociopath special!

Women better follow their gut instincts. it has saved many of them from many unpleasant situations...they are better off judging in such situations, than not.

Priyamvada_K said...

My goodness! The picture of an innocent 7 year old in that bathtub makes me want to weep - what in the world would she know, and why the heck would her dad take this picture and show a complete stranger. I hope she is ok and will remain so. I hope her mom gets her and keeps her safe....May all children stay safe and far, far away from any kind of predator whatsoever.


Heartcrossings said...

Priya - That's exactly how I felt. God bless the child and the mother and keep them both safe.

Chay - Have done well so far following my gut. I guess that is the best I can do.

Bluehue - That's the worst kind of pressure there is to be right.

Priyamvada_K said...

I almost feel tempted to call up the girl's mom and tell her about this. Or report this guy somewhere. Sheesh. What a nightmare for her.


Heartcrossings said...

Priya - I think the only issue is we're going by the gut feeling that something about this is wrong. Hopefully (in fact I am almost sure) the mother is aware too. The sad thing is you can't stand a case up fuelled solely by gut. What's the proof ? But sure as hell I felt sick to the stomach.

Chay said...

I hate it that one cannot trust parents anymore to do the best for their kids. some people are sick in the heart...not just teh mind!!

SeaSwallowMe said...

yikes, crossings.

i hope your misgivings are unfounded, and that everything is all right in that family. the cynic in me says i'm being dumb, but a little part of me believes in fairy tales.

double-yikes. excuse me while i try to find something that's a little more pleasant to read. that description of the photo the guy sent you is stuck in my head.

FunnyCide said...

wow!! there is something really really creepy in the whole deal.. that I feel uncomfortable and uneasy just reading it..

sometimes gut feeling is all we got.. and it is the most powerful reasoning to go by.

you write conversations between people really well.

Heartcrossings said...

FC & SSM - The fact that everyone finds this thing creepy speaks for itself. Unfortunately it does not count as evidence.

Sorry to post something so obviously nauseous but I just had to share.

bilbo said...

hey crossings.
just read ur blog and now as ssm said, the pic is stuck in my head. I hope that lil gal is safe and her mom gets her before anything weird happens. beyond that, u take care and follow ur gut.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm...So you're writing about what you thought about a person and others are commenting on your sole impression...making a third person the point of discussion on a blogsite doesn't look too intelligent to me at this point, I am sorry...however creepy that guy might be....

Heartcrossings said...

Anon - The point of the post was to talk about something did not feel right to me. As the single mother of a girl child I tend to be uber-sensitive.

So much more reason for me to want to know if I am wrong in what I am thinking. Sometimes a party outside to the situation brings a fresh perspective.

I would love to be wrong in my assessment. It would only be restorative of my faith.