We can’t be friends

About a month ago I took Buddy in to the vet for a check-up. It was the vet who rather likes the sound of their own voice, so the waiting room was packed with clients waiting their turn while the vet pontificated, endlessly impressed with themselves and their towering intellect. (Locals with animals probably know which of the vets I mean…) Though a great vet, I tend to leave the clinic somewhat shellshocked when they’re attending, wondering if they actually heard anything I said about my animal and if they paid any attention to the symptoms I explained.

At some point I saw a vehicle pull up the clinic drive and noticed a husky face in the window. Naturally, I got a bit excited, hoping that Buddy would get to meet a husky. It turns out the driver saw Buddy as he passed so brought in not one husky, but two! And they were lovely huskies. Buddy was a bit anxious about being smothered by curious husky faces – cause hey, huskies have no sense of personal space whatsoever – but I was really encouraged!

It turned out that the owner is also into biking with his huskies, so I got his number, hoping for a local contact to one day go bikjoring with Buddy (I want to buy one of these). 

A few weeks later I finally got around to calling him and we met in one of the local parks. He brought along just one of his huskies for the first meet and greet, and it went generally well – though it kinda bugged me how he kept vying for my dog’s attention. I can’t explain why, but people who keep trying to manhandle my dog, or absorb all their attention – essentially distracting it from me, the owner – bug the crap out of me. I chalked it up to him wanting to make good friends with Buddy and let it go.

He seemed cool. A good looking man with two huskies, who got my jokes – really, what wasn’t there to like?!

I was, typically, anxious to be in the company of a new person, and just as typically babbled like a lunatic. Still, I caught a few worrisome clues I could cogitate over when I got home, none of which necessarily raise any alarms on their own.

He was the sort of guy who wore wolf print t-shirts. Not a big thing, lots and lots of people like to wear them, but the way he talked about wolves and huskies, I kinda got the sinking feeling that he was more into his huskies as ornaments and trophies than as companions. This may not be the case in reality, but I’ve seen it so often in husky owners (and malamute owners, to be fair) that my suspicions were raised.

On our first walk he talked about:

  • being former military – and not just regular military, but a paratrooper, a fairly romanticised and heroic role 
  • having been in a motorbike accident due to falling asleep at some stupid speed
  • having amnesia for 9-ish months (but curiously didn’t know what a ‘fugue state’ was, and changed the subject when I pressed him with questions)
  • has back issues from being a ‘splatcat’
  • he’s into guns and bows
  • is a martial artist (but hasn’t heard of lo wushu or krav maga)

There were other things that seemed strange at the time, but these stuck with me the rest of the day, because everything about him reminded me of someone else I once knew…

In Sweden, lifetimes ago now, I fell in with the lovely Mia – a great friend I stayed with in Norway earlier this year – and her then-partner, who should remain unnamed I suppose. Her partner used to regale me with the most bizarre and heroic and outlandish stories. He claimed he was an ex Navy Seal, knew martial arts enough to kick van Damme’s arse, bragged about his kills, and generally talked himself up until, at my young age, I was all in love with him – well, the stories he told. He was in no way a sincere individual, and even then I doubted the truth of what he told me, but I loved the idea of him.

It turns out he’s a pathological liar and has ruined several other women’s lives since I last caught up with Mia. He didn’t impose on me beyond the disappointment of realising he’s just a fantasist with no grip on reality whatsoever. And the man with the huskies was giving me all the same impressions… a fantasist and likely a pathological liar. Telling stories to impress me.

At some point in the conversation I made it clear that I’m asexual and not at all interested in relationships. This is a thing I find I have to say often to men I meet because… men. DX

We decided to find each other on Facebook and see if we can arrange some regular walks with the dogs, and against my better judgement, I looked him up. He’d spent some time searching and googling me, and right away I felt uncomfortable. He started leaving comments suggesting he was learning how to ‘be my friend’, with overtones of ‘more than a friend’. He sent me a text message – after meeting me twice – asking me if I’d want to be in a committed romantic (but non-sexual) relationship with me. He pressed me for details about how Andy and I were friends, looking for a way into my life. He was liking and commenting on every. single. post on Facebook, and messaging me all day every day.

Offers to do things for me, help my dad, my brother, build me a cat run, frequently trying to get me to divulge where I lived. Within a week I was thinking ‘restraining order’.

I was already looking for excuses to cut ties with him, and we’d still only met twice. Twice! Well, not including the vet. 

The first chance came when he made a sexist comment to one of my posts. I called him out on it and he got all defensive and started ‘mansplaining’ his perspective. My cursor was literally over the ‘unfriend’ button when he messaged me asking me to help him understand. So I tried and we talked it out and he made me believe he had a better idea of feminism. It was a good conversation, and for a while I thought I’d give him another chance.

But then he went over to the mainland to look at a malamute he wants to adopt.

….

He has two huskies already, and he doesn’t handle them too well – it’s hard to handle two pulling dogs, they always pull harder in pairs, competing to be in front. My shoulders and arms are pretty beefy after having walked two malamutes for years! I was instantly concerned that he was looking for another way in with Buddy and me, and that he’d discovered a larger wolf-ish dog trophy. I made the decision then and there that I wouldn’t get involved unless he really cannot cope on his own and there is a danger the dog would need to be rehomed, because he’s a dick who can’t handle two huskies, and a malamute which is roughly equivalent to two damned huskies.

I’d stopped following his Facebook feed at this point, due to it being saturated in friendship memes. 

The next time I hear from him, he’s declaring himself a loud and proud racist! The only good Muslim (not a race) is a dead Muslim, and he’d like to kill them all himself.

Unfriend. Block phone number. Remove all connections.

I haven’t heard from him – obviously – but I’ll be honest, I’m afraid of some reprisals for this. Pathological liars and fantasists aren’t necessarily dangerous, unless cornered in their lies, then they might hurt someone or themselves rather than face being discovered, outed, or having to face the consequences. But I’m really not comfortable knowing he lives in my small town with me.