"It's G A R ,um, Y"
In the previous comments, Funderson asked about Gary the Garmin. Yes, indeed, Gary is its name. Why? Well, the short answer is Gary is kind of an obvious derivative. GARmin, GARy, yeah. There is a longer, more involved answer, though, one that finds its roots over 10 years ago . . .
::swirly picture fade out to another time and place::
So I dated and lived with this guy named Gary for about 2 years, some 10 years ago. Lots of red flags in our relationship, right from the very beginning -- he still lived with his parents (at age 30+), my family hated him and he limited the time I spent with them, he was unemployed, I paid the rent when he did move in with me, he walked around bare-chested at every opportunity, played the guitar passably and fancied himself a star, etc., etc. (trust me, the list goes on and on). Incredibly long and pathetic story short, I finally wised up, broke up with him and kicked him out of my house. This is where the story veers from Co-dependent Street right on to Mental Illness Avenue.
For one thing, it took the man over a week to actually leave -- and that required an ultimatum of police-department proportions (a theme we return to again later in this story). When I came home from work that night, every single light in the house was on, the door was wide open, all the pictures on the wall were tilted at a precise angle and every door (including cabinets) was open just so. Upon further inspection, everything that he and his family (with whom I was quite close) had ever given me was just gone, CDs that I bought while we were together were defaced, and I found the first of the notes that were to plague me for the next 6+ months. This guy had taken the time to write these little fortune-cookie type notes proclaiming his love for me and various other sentiments and secreted them all over the place -- like in cereal boxes, the back of the spice rack, stuck to the bottom of a tampon box. Seriously, for the next weeks and months I would unroll the toilet paper and a little piece of paper would flutter out, saying how mean I was, or I'd open up a cookbook to some random recipe and there'd be another one of those fucking notes telling me how I wasted a wonderful thing. Super crazy shit, and it was only the beginning.
He proceeded to stalk me with a vengeance, showing up at my house at all hours, at work, at other places I might frequent. He left me flowers and notes on my car, and would call and leave TONS of messages on my phone -- I remember coming home one night to find 58, yes 5-8, rambling phone messages (including some that were just those tones you get when you push the phone buttons, and I'm sure he was sending me "messages" this way). I was 40 miles away from home, going out for an evening with my sister, and I looked over into the lane next to me at a stoplight and there he was. He would just show up at places, demanding to speak with me. Restaurants, work, places I liked to go. The final straw was waking up one morning at about 10am (I worked nights even then, so that was like the middle of the night for me, a fact he well knew) to find him standing at the end of my bed, watching me sleep. I got the police involved at this point, and had him arrested for breaking and entering (his crazy fucking logic said that this was a bogus charge, as he had entered an unlocked window and thus didn't actually BREAK anything). Restraining orders followed, but even that barely slowed him down -- he'd show up at my house at 3am, pounding on my front door, kicking dents into my car, still leaving notes and flowers in places I was sure to find. I had to have security meet me at my designated parking place at work for MONTHS. It got so that I would call the police and say "This is Bootchez" and they'd just send a car out to my address to lead him away. Again. He never once physically harmed me, though I have no doubt that he was the type that might eventually snap and kill me in some weird attachment disorder break.
I never actually pressed charges. Co-dependent to the end.
The following and the "anonymous" phone calls continued for months and months, and was certainly a factor in my deciding to start travelling as a nurse. It never really stopped until I left the area, over a year later.
Good things to come out of this? It pretty much cured me of the co-dependent pattern that had repeated itself over and over and over again in my romantic relationships (I only needed one more lousy -- though thankfully short-lived -- relationship before I gave up all together, renounced all of my tendencies of falling for unavailable men, and decided to become a lesbian. Then, totally without warning (and before I did anything more than cruise a gay bar), Tom, wonderful Tom, fell into my lap. He wishes it was a little later, and perhaps I had a little lesbo experience, but that's another story). Plus, as I have always said, Tragedy + Time = Comedy, and all this time later I've really let go of the emotions surrounding this experience and appreciate it mostly for the humorous anecdotes it might provide. Like, I hate Jazz and I hate the Grateful Dead, and thus was totally flummoxed by Gary's invitation, right in the middle of all this, to go see a show called Jazz is Dead, featuring a band covering the Dead with a Jazz flair. I can think of little else that I would rather do. Mainly, I can't help but laugh, all these years later, at the sheer craziness of some of the shit that went down.
Which, in my usual long-winded fashion, brings me around to the point of this post. Gary, the stalker, knew absolutely everything about where I was and what I did, and oooooooh! so does the Gary the Garmin! Thus, my Garmin has a first name . . . .