At an inner-city self-storage facility, I’m the only person in the lot when a nondescript panel van pulls in. I’m busy unloading the now empty bins of holiday decor, set to go back into storage, when a guy climbs out of the panel van. Nothing strange here, right? We’re at a storage facility after all.
Then dude strips off his sweater and shirt (it’s 40 frickin’ degrees outside) and tears into a plastic bag. He pulls out a brand new disposable coverall – the kind of thing painters use. And he puts this on. So… seriously? A disposable coverall?
Now… I’m sitting there thinking, do I really want to go into a deserted storage facility with some dude who just dressed up like Dexter? Maybe I should just, oh… wait out here, in the parking lot where there are cameras, and a casino parking lot across the street.
Of course, instead, I hurry inside, cursing my overactive writer’s imagination. Because, y’know… I did just finish reading a serial killer novel. And I am in the process of researching a new thriller. And I did just finish writing another thriller – that features a creepy dude stalking a woman. And I am doing final edits on a very creepy thriller with a serial rapist.
Yeah. Not like my brain is predisposed to think creepy things, instead of… hey, maybe dude is hauling a bunch of dirty stuff and doesn’t want to get his clothes yucky.
On the way home from said storage facility, I’m driving up the street and see a big, burly, scary looking dude walking along dressed in full camo gear and acting a little strange. No big deal. This is the city. There are strange folks around.
Except this dude has a gigantic Bowie knife strapped to one hip. And he’s marching along, stopping every now and then to make angry-looking gestures.
And of course, when I pull up to park, dude is coming up the street right behind me. Do I get out of my car? With angry-looking, knife-wearing camo-dude right there?
Once again, cursing my writer’s imagination, I get out of the car. Camo-dude ignored me as he continued up the sidewalk.
Back home… you can damn well bet both of these scenes were noted, jotted down, and filed away for future possible use, because… well, damn, I couldn’t make that kinda shit up.