My housemate Matt has a stalker. No one’s actually seen Matt’s stalker but he or she leaves creepy gifts on our porch and that’s how we know they’re around. Matt doesn’t know why this happening. Sure, he indulges in one-night stands and he’s broken a few hearts but he’s definitely above board. In fact, he posts dog photos on Facebook which might even make him too lame to have a stalker. He’s also got a real straight edge job testing soils and this keeps him away from kinky types. For all intents and purposes, Matt is a nice guy yet someone hates him. Like someone really hates him and they’re talking it out on the local wildlife.
It started a month ago. Matt had arrived home after a long day of testing soils to find a post-it note adhered to the front door. The note said “Dear Matt, thanks.” The problem was that he didn’t know why he was being thanked or by whom. He also found it weird that someone had used his full name. We both agreed this was odd and then we started talking about totem polls or some other crap and forgot about it.
A week after the post-it note situation, Matt was coming home from the pub when he found a package on the front step. It was wrapped in floral tissue paper and had a card on the top declaring it was for MATT xx . Matt opened the card and inside, in green texta, someone had written, “Dear Matt, sorry I missed Christmas, I hope I’m not too late. Much love Julia.” The writing was neat but not female-neat. More like a guy on his best behavior. Matt crouched and opened the box from the ground in case there was something bad inside. He wasn’t wrong. Under the tissue paper, inside a shoebox and looking fresh was a dead bird. Matt put the lot in the bin and went to bed.
When I heard the story the next day I couldn’t stop laughing. I knew it was a bit off but I found the whole thing very exciting. I took you just saw and then we sat in the kitchen and went over the options. Matt didn’t know any aggrieved Julias. I know one but sending the bird to Matt seemed a weird oversight. The next option was a girl he’d met a club. She came over and had some drinks with us and although she was cute, she had a boyfriend so the whole thing was confusing and hardly long-term. Maybe it was her angry boyfriend. Maybe it was her. The second option was another girl he’d met at a club who he’d brought home and fallen asleep with mid-conversation which, to borrow the words of Shania Twain, didn’t impress her much. Or then maybe it was just one of our mates.
There was nothing after that for a while. Then last week I was lying on my bed doing that thing with the fan where you try to focus on a single blade as it spins and then Matt appeared at the door. “There’s another one,” he said. I got up and sure enough, through the fly wire screen I could see a package sitting on the porch. It was the same set up – a box and a card marked MATT xx. I pulled the card off and this is what was inside. This time I couldn’t laugh. The card featured a couple of birds which meant that someone had gone to a lot of effort and that Julia, whoever she is, should get a life. I opened the box (which also featured birds) and inside was a dead rat. I suddenly realized I was standing on the porch in my underwear with some sociopathic road kill man/lady probably watching so I went inside. Then I went out again and took a million photos. Matt called the police. The police said that whoever was doing this probably wasn’t aware of the depth of shit they were getting themselves into. Matt agreed and said that if he ever found them he’d beat the living piss out of them. If you’re Matt’s stalker, maybe just re-read this second point.
It’s now been a week without gifts. Matt didn’t want me to write this article because he was afraid his fan club would get some derranged kick out of it. He also squinted his eyes and made me promise that it wasn’t me doing it. Yes, it’s got to that point. I promised it wasn’t me and said I’d make his stalker look silly so that they’d consider some self-reflection time. I haven’t done that yet so here we go: Listen stalker, whoever you are, please just fuck off. You’re now being referred to on the internet as a stalker. What would your mum think? How about you just come over like any other normal person and admit that you’re angry and explain why. You’re not in a Sarah Michelle Gellar film. This is not poignant. This is melodramatic and adolescent and unhygienic and you’re better than this. Stop it.
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