In the two minutes I’ve been sitting here, trying to start this article, my friend sitting across from me has been cyber-creeped twice — the first, by some random guy through Google chat, and the second through her Craigslist ad for a keyboard (“hey, read you’re ad! Maybe this is off subject but u seem prety cool J, and I was wondring if maybe…”). The mind recoils in horror at the overwhelming number of internet creepers in the world. If there were a “creeper locator” like the one for registered sex offenders, it would be an indecipherable blob of red dots; you would just look at it and puke.
Everyone, particularly males (although I’ve met a few creepy females), experiences the occasional impulse to creep on people, and before the internet, these ephemeral urges had no outlet, would simply burn out in the dark prurient recesses of the mind like an underwater volcano. Now, each and every one of those impulses must be individually suppressed. If one slips through, suddenly you transform into Peter Lorre, greasy fingers typing frantically, drooling on the keyboard, fully naked, eyes wide and bloodshot — and maybe that’s hyperbole, but no one will know because it’s the internet. And if I comment, “Nice photo ;)” on your beach vacation photo of you in a bikini, that’s the image of me you’ll have in your mind. So I must suppress! Suppress! Suppress!
It’s very important that I never give people an impression like, “That Brad Pike… hmm, I don’t know about him. He might be a rapist.” No, that should never happen. That is to be avoided at all costs because it would be untrue. I’m a reasonable person who interacts with other reasonable people in a reasonable way, so it doesn’t take much effort to avoid exhibiting the characteristics of a creepy person. I have no inclination to say lascivious things to girls. I don’t send friend requests to girls I don’t know. Every once and awhile though, I’ll write a text or Facebook message that, to my drunken/ confused/ dumb brain, seems “romantic” or “flirty”. But it’s neither of the two; it’s just creepy.
I delete these texts immediately for they are manifestations of my secret depravity and must be removed in short order lest I send one in an instant of mental abstraction. If I sent out every text I typed, dear lord, my list of attractive female friends would be significantly lower or my relationships with these girls would be altered in a way I’m not sure I’d relish. If judged by the list of texts under the “draft” category of my phone, one would construct a portrait of a sad desperate individual who lacks any semblance of hope or dignity, the accuracy of which I decline to investigate further.
You would be flabbergasted if you knew the amount of time I spend composing “romantic” type text messages to girl(s) who very obviously have no interest in dating me. I go through phases where, in the foggy dreamlike state before sleep, I begin tapping out text messages over and over, detailed explanations for how I would like our imaginary relationship to proceed, messages that are painstakingly edited dozens of times before I finally delete them. Sometimes in the shower or while walking around town, I mentally compose incredibly candid confessions, but these are less dangerous because my brain doesn’t have a send button. Thank God I don’t have telepathy because Charles Xavier I ain’t — I have enough trouble keeping my mouth shut much less my brain.
I feel it’s especially important for people who look like me to avoid creepy behavior. When you’re spindly, pale, and prone to intense stares, it behooves one to avoid exacerbating that image with a malevolent demeanor. Ryan Gosling could say something truly depraved, and everyone’s giggling, but if I say the same thing, the terror is acute and profound. Likewise, if a little kid’s like, “I’m hungry,” people aren’t worried, while if a ten-foot-tall spider says, “I’m hungry,” people become understandably concerned. I’m the ten-foot-tall spider. My statements, I think, are more likely to be interpreted as “sinister” than “romantic.” One day in the future, I’ll be old and bald, and this effect will be heightened exponentially. I’ll say something innocuous like, “You look very pretty,” and the girl will think, ‘I’m not just physically but spiritually repulsed.’ At least girls can comfort themselves with the knowledge that if I make unwanted advances, they can probably beat the crap out of me — I’m weak and uncoordinated like a cat with a sock over its head.
So far, my activities constitute “pitiful” and not so much “creepy,” but that could change at any time. I’m a capricious person, and my moral compass can dissolve at a moment’s notice. Alcohol, in particular, is a potent truth serum to me. Sooner or later, alcohol will be consumed in the same location as a laptop, and then the serial alienation spree will commence. I sense a vast mental stockpile of creepy messages stored away, and it’s waiting to be dumped into cyberspace the moment I’m overtaken by a sudden reckless mood. I’m so interested to discover what I’ll type.