weirdI am a crazy collector, a madness magnet, a whacko attractor… However you want to term it, I seem to have a talent for drawing those poor souls who are a couple of planks short of a full pallet into my presence.

It’s not something I do consciously, neither for that matter is it a talent I particularly relish, nevertheless it seems I’m stuck with it, and that’s all there is to it.

If there’s a freak on the train or bus, then I guarantee that they’ll sit next to me, even if there are a thousand vacant seats to choose from. At parties I’ll find myself involuntarily saddled with the creep who wants to talk in gory detail about their hernia operation that went horribly wrong and insists on showing me their resultant scar/colostomy bag/extra nipple. Total nutters randomly befriend me in bars, on the street and in cafes, and holidays become a nightmare game of hide and seek as I do my utmost to avoid the company of the persistent muppet who’s managed to convince themselves that I’d rather spend my entire trip viewing their extensive collection of Spanish beer mats, rather than the local sights.

The latest incident, which spawned this post, happened on the train home yesterday. There I am, happily ensconced in a seat, all on my lonesome and minding my own business, when a woman exuding the pungent fragrance of eau de gin and tonic plonked herself down in the seat next to me. Doing my best to politely ignore my new travelling companion, I gazed studiously out of the window at the passing scenery… Right up to the point where my erstwhile sozzled friend decided that my shoulder was the perfect pillow upon which to rest her head and snuggle up! It was one of those terribly surreal moments when you know exactly what you should do, but find it incredibly difficult to do so… And the longer you let it go, the more difficult it becomes to do anything at all, so – of course – I continued to stare fixedly out of the window, whilst she continued to make herself comfortable!

And, so it continued for the rest of my journey, my unfortunate position only being redeemed when my stop came and I had little choice but to finally extricate myself from her clutches – which was not the easiest thing to do. And the worst part? Most of the time she was resting on my shoulder, I’m pretty sure she wasn’t even asleep.

That sort of incident, my friends, is pretty much a regular occurrence for me – what on earth could I have done to so frequently attract such ‘interesting’ people.

welcome_001I wish I could say the same wasn’t true in the virtual world; you’d think my luck might be a little better in SL, if only because the ratio of loonies is so much higher inworld that they’d find plenty of their own kind to associate with, without bothering me. Not so, I’m afraid… Inworld, I am equally adept at cornering the market in weirdos as I am in RL, and I have absolutely no idea why.

My Second Life is liberally laced with lunatics, ranging from those who’ve ragequit SL because I dared to have have other people in my friends’ list, (they came back fairly soon after, but even now – some 5 years later – I still feature in their profile as the most evil biatch ever to have been foisted upon the metaverse), to those who have fallen truly, madly and deeply in love with my pixels, despite having no idea of even the most basic details of my real life. Then there have been stalkers, pursuing me for various reasons, ranging from my body to my writing… At least one person convinced they’ve been married to me, and a whole range of completely bonkers people who make the weirdos and freaks of the real world appear positively normal and dull!

Am I the only one thus afflicted, or is this something rife in SL that is pretty much par for the course for everyone? The reason I ask is because a rather worrying thought has crossed my mind following today’s ‘adventure’ on the train… Could it be a case of like attracting like? Do the fringes of normal society gravitate to me because they identify with me as a kindred spirit?

That’s a rather worrying thought… And the biggest worry of all, is that it might, in fact, be correct!

s. x

When you’re strange
Faces come out of the rain
When you’re strange
No one remembers your name
Infected Mushroom – People Are Strange

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