All By Myself


Strangers are interesting people.  Sometimes you’ll catch someone out in the world doing something odd and it becomes an odd story you remember for years.  Here’s one from a few weeks ago:

I was in a Michael’s (the craft store) so I could buy paper for these wonderful cartoons, and I was honestly feeling really down that day.  I had just gotten out of a relationship and I had learned a friend of mine had just passed away.  I felt all by myself.  I should mention that while I was stumbling around the store this evening, I was on the phone with a freelance opportunity trying to feel some excitement about a project that I knew was already going to be a huge pain. While on the phone I see a woman standing by a display and she beckoned me over to her.  As I approached, she asked me if I could help her out for a second.  I replied that I didn’t work here, but I mentioned that I was willing to help if I could.  She very blankly looked me in the eyes and said, “When I was young, I never needed anyone and that making love was just for fun.”  This phrase echoed in me and grabbed my attention.  After all, I had just gotten out of a relationship.  As she continued talking I couldn’t focus too much on the words, instead I just felt extremely empathetic.  She didn’t look crazy. Quite the opposite.  She looked well put together actually.  If she looked crazy, it would of been easier for me to just feel sorry for her and walk away, but I couldn’t walk away. I felt really sorry for her.  She continued, saying something about how she was living alone and something about her friends being gone…

“Can I call you back in a second?” I asked realizing I was still on the phone with my employer.  I hung up the phone and she continued speaking to me.  “All by myself… I don’t want to be all by myself anymore”.

Then something weirder happened. She turned into a broken record repeating herself over and over. “All by myself… I don’t want to be all by myself anymore”. I told her it sounded like she was just saying song lyrics, and all of a sudden she ran off.

In utter confusion I called back my employer.  Within seconds of him answering the phone, another woman came up to me.  This woman looked more put together then the first.  First of all, she wasn’t wearing a crazy scarf like the last woman and this lady also was carrying a clipboard.  She had just mentioned I was on hidden camera for the show Ellen.  This woman was going up to strangers and speaking in song lyrics.  Perhaps I should’ve recognized the Eric Carmen song, but then again I was relatively distracted.

“Can I call you back?” I repeated into the phone.

As I signed the release form the clipboard lady asked what was going through my mind during the event.  I told her that I felt bad the woman, that I was empathetic, and that I wished I could’ve done something for her.  I probably should’ve stopped there.  I continued telling the worker about how I had just got out of a serious relationship and how my friend died.  I explained to her that was the reason I was drawn into the conversation.  I realized now that I was rambling too much and that I probably I look like the crazy stranger now.  Perhaps now I am her bizarre stranger story that she tells everyone.

Anyways watch the video here


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