Sunday, July 12, 2009

THE LURK

This person, a female in a skirt, stood outside, across the street, at the corner.

At first I thought she was someone who worked in the neighborhood. I wondered what kind of job she had, who was her employer, and why she was always there.

I saw her on a couple of rainy days. The season was changing. Her outfit changed. Then, one day when JC and I went into the A & P, I noticed her across the street.

After we'd returned home, unloaded the groceries and had a snack, I saw her on the street in the usual spot.

JC said, "She's a fan. I guess she's at the theater every night." He'd observed that she always stood across the street from the stage door.

We both noticed her across the post office, when we picked up a package there.

One day, when JC and I flagged down a taxi to take us to a meeting on 43rd Street, I saw her. I saw her outside the building after the meeting. I was shocked. Scared. How did she get there. In a taxi ? Did she get a cab to follow ours when we were heading to the meeting?

We discussed her whereabouts and made notes on a yellow pad. Was she across from the stage door last night? Was she waiting after the matinee? Was she lurking when he picked up his prescription?

It makes your heart beat faster when someone is lurking, following you, always there even when you take a subway. She was apparently following him where ever he went.

Then I saw her when he had stayed home. She was also following me ...

I called the police. They referred me to another person, who referred me to another precinct. I was told there was no law that could be applied, no way to stop the Lurk. (That's what I called her.)

We discussed it with our lawyer. He'd heard about a similar situation. He suggested we approach her. Ask her for her name.

JC tried to, but she rushed away as he approached.

His show closed. She was outside our home every day. Then suddenly, we didn't see her anymore.

More than a year later, when he was in another show, JC saw her outside the stage door. The pattern resumed. She was back outside our home.

At some point JC found out her name. He isn't sure when -- he remembers approaching her, and asking what's your name, and her saying it was JJ.

Off and on, for more than fifteen years -- JJ is outside the theater wherever JC performs. He nods and greets her sometimes -- ever since his opening night for "August: Osage County," she's been outside the Music Box Theatre.

And this winter when JC was performing in "Heroes" and "August: Osage County," JJ was outside both theaters -- for matinees as well as all the evening performances.

JC casually mentioned there were three of them nowadays -- JJ, Vera and Letty. He's given Vera and Letty the autographed pictures they've asked for when they came and saw him in "110 in the Shade" three or four times last summer. He didn't want me to worry but all three fans were at the Music Box after every show.

They're needy, not well people, and these days the not well people have become more dangerous. The fact is, the show at the Music Box closed last Sunday. But I think I saw JJ on our street on Tuesday, same spot, at new store on the corner -- and I worry.

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