Sunday, May 07, 2006

Stalker, Part 3: After the First Break-in

Since our previous installment here, St- told me over the phone that he had broken into my new apartment and stolen my important papers, so I started staying at So-'s apartment regularly for safety.

Monday, Jan. 4, 1999

While I was at work, G- verified that the apartment had indeed been broken into and the principal lock replaced. The door had a total of three locks: one incorporated into the door handle, one up a bit higher, and a third one down a bit below the door handle. The top one was simply broken and not repaired. The door handle and lock mechanism had been replaced -- as St- had claimed -- and was hence locked with a new key that G- didn't have, so he couldn't get in to assess the damages inside. The third lock wasn't broken at all. I had found that lock to be a little bit sticky, so I hadn't bothered to lock it, which meant that St- had broken in without breaking it. In the course of checking the various locks, G- locked the third lock and left it that way.

I later called St- to make arrangements for him to give me back my documents, if they were indeed stolen. He agreed to meet me in a public place to return my documents and to give me the new keys to my apartment. He was insane enough to believe that his replacing my front door lock was a reasonable gesture and that I would be perfectly happy keep this lock for which he had undoubtedly made himself an extra key. (He nobly offered to give me all of the originals that came with the lock he bought.) He also seemed to believe that it was reasonable for him to be upset about the fact that he couldn't get into my apartment anymore since G- had locked it.

St- and I negotiated a meeting at the Mustang Café where I would have a beer with him, and for safety I was allowed to bring G- along. G- waited at the bar while I took a table with St-.

He gave me the apartment keys, and we proceeded to attempt to have a reasonable conversation. I don't recall the details, but I'm sure my half of the conversation was guided by the knowledge that any attempt at rational discussion with this maniac would be fruitless and that my only goal was to get him to give me back my papers. Of course he hadn't brought them with him -- that would be letting me off too easily. He had locked them into one of the lockers at the Monparnasse train station nearby.

So, after finishing our respective beers, the three of us walked over to the train station. There we had a rather lengthy discussion of how we would go get the papers out of the locker. St- absolutely insisted that I go into the locker area with him and that G- wait outside, which was totally unacceptable. His choices were to bring G- with him to the locker or to go get the papers himself.

After an unreasonably long dispute, he finally went and got the papers himself. He came back with my folder and a bouquet of flowers, explaining that he had wanted me to come with him alone because the flowers were a surprise. I took my folder, thanked him for the flowers, and proceeded to verify that all of my papers were there.

Everything was in order -- in fact one might say that the papers were even more in order than before since he had put each document in its own individual plastic sheath (including some documents that I had no use for such as the papers attesting that I was residing in St-'s apartment). He had also written me little love notes on the inside cover of the folder.

I later remarked to G- that it was kind of crazy of St- to have stolen my things only to re-organize them and give them back, but G- responded that this type of "helpful" behavior was consistent with St-'s perception of the situation. I was not interested in debating it, but to myself I noted that this demonstrated that St-'s perception of the situation was severely warped, as was was his image of how a relationship functions.

In St-'s mind, the fact that I had made a big show of putting the documents where he couldn't get at them was just my way of starting a little power struggle. He then took them in order to demonstrate to me that I shouldn't bother to try to put things out of his reach because he could get them whenever he wanted to. This little lesson he tried to teach me was extremely stupid because, if necessary, I can certainly find a place to put my things where he can't get at them. My experience with St- taught me first-hand the truth of the old adage that locks only keep out honest people.

St- seemed to believe that this whole thing was some sort of lovers' tiff, and that since I had cheated on him (by starting a new relationship), he, as the man, was justified in responding with a bit of intimidation -- to remind me of my place -- and then after giving me some flowers, all would be resolved.

I don't think I need to explain to the reader at this point that I disagreed with St-'s point of view, indeed found it frightening, and wanted nothing more than to get the hell away from this lunatic as far and as fast as humanly possible.

to be continued...


Cyn Bagley said...

Wow.. and this guy was a frenchman?
You couldn't make this stuff up.

C. L. Hanson said...

Yes, he was French.

But don't let this give you a misimpression about French guys being psychos or something -- I just found one bad one by chance...

Rebecca said...

Hello, crazy! Wow.

C. L. Hanson said...

Already it's pretty bad, yet it gets worse.....

Anonymous said...

Your description of your own behavior is exactly the kind of passive tolerance that security experts say keep stalkers interested. How come you didn't call the police when he burglarized your apartment? I have been in a similar situation with a guy in a foreign country and I put my foot down before it got this crazy. You chose to continue the dance, no wonder the guy maintained false hope for the relationship.

C. L. Hanson said...

Anonymous, if you read the commentary, I've written repeatedly that my whole point in posting this story is so that people will understand how the dynamics of this sort of situation work, so they won't make the same mistakes themselves.

Pointing out that (as I have said myself) I misjudged the situation, and then saying "You chose to continue the dance" (with the subtext "so you deserve whatever you got because you were asking for it, idiot!") is not remotely helpful here.