And we shall call him: Creepy Tree Guy.

I think I might have mentioned a time or 600 that I have serious reservations about running in our little neighborhood park – you now, the park that is really a gimongous field with a half-mile+ walking trail around a field, a few giant trees, and a duck pond, with benches every few yards. The park. The reasons for not really feeling completely comfortable running down there is that it’s bordered by high grasses and forest and the river. Our subdivision is kitty-corner, to the east are more fields, and to left is more most-empty land where the concrete plant is located (not that you can see any of that; I think it’s up closer to the road.) So! Kind of secluded, but so pretty and peaceful.

That is, if you can stop thinking about being kidnapped. I know I shouldn’t, but I do constantly wonder about that. Maybe it’s because I grew up in the city.

Or, maybe it’s because of instances like the other night: I ran down the twisty path that winds through a patch of forest between the houses and the park and noticed a guy with a bright orange shirt standing on the bridge looking at the ducks. I wondered if that would increase the chances that the lil duckies would stalk me for more bread. I jogged some more down the windy path and when I looked back, Orange Shirt was gone. GONE-gone. I scanned to the right to see where on the path he had suddenly disappeared to – nowhere to be seen. I looked left to see if he had gone counter-clockwise, or had walked up to the parking lot. Not there either. I scanned the river to the right of the park, where a lot of families stop to fish. Nothing. The high grasses where a few women were looking around last time? Not there either. By this point, I was feeling really uneasy. I kept running, still looking for where Orange Shirt had disappeared; in a field that giant, it was unpossible for him to clear the area completely in the short time I had looked away.

So along I go, running along the path, passing the ducks and the footbridge, and my favorite view, still scanning the area, when I catch a glimpse of him PEEKING FROM BEHIND A TREE. I am not even kidding you. Dude in his late 50s/early 60s just standing behind the massive tree near the duck pond. He was looking down at his phone, and I want to believe he was trying to see the screen better, but really? Hiding behind a tree? Creeeeepy!

I looked him up and down, staring at his face, and ignored the head tip when he acknowledged me staring at him. I wanted him to know that I got a good look at him and I wasn’t feeling very friendly about his hidey-habits. Not when there’s a bench a few feet away where he could have lounged in a less creepy manner. So off I run, not really liking having my back to him, but that’s okay because every so often I looked over my shoulder to see where he was. I didn’t even care what he thought of that. Except, Oh! Look! He’s walking the path behind me now! He was at least a quarter loop behind me, which wasn’t a problem, except I was running much faster than I normally would and was getting a little winded. And I wasn’t too keen about him catching up, so I had to keep my pace up. I kept throwing looks over my shoulder every 10 yards or so. If he disappeared or increased his pace in the slightest, I was hauling butt out of there.

Thankfully, Creepy Tree Guy started walking up the path towards the parking lot when he got to it. I heaved a sigh of relief…and then realized he was walking back down it. Seriously?! What, was he making sure no one else was on their way in? Was he being a do-bee and covering what he could? Since I was as far away as possible on the loop, I slowed to a walk and pretended (though not really) to catch my breath. Your move, Creepy Tree Guy, with your long grizzly mustache, oversized sunglasses, and sandy blonde and gray hair. Oh, and lines on his cheeks, around his mouth, near his moustache. I pretty much drew a police sketch of his face while I waited. He turned left and headed – jogged, actually! How funny! – up the path towards the neighborhood.

I started running again. I kept checking over my shoulder, especially when my back was to the entrances to the park, but I finished my run. 3 1/2 miles, a half-mile more than last week. AND I still clocked in under my 39-minute buzzer that I had created for myself last week. Thanks to that manic first loop in which I ran like a crazylady, it’s like a snuck a free half mile in my workout!

Still, I rather hope no one is around tonight. Either that, or maybe there will be an impromptu bingo game on the muddy circle where our gazebo is supposed to be. That would be just the ticket, tonight.



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One Response to “And we shall call him: Creepy Tree Guy.”

  1. Kathy Says:

    Yep – creepy! Have to agree with you on that one. Stay safe.

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