He’s freaked me out a few times. The first time I met him he asked me how I was. I said fine, but the coffee machine kept breaking down.
‘You can always call me, you know,’ he said, offhand. I was new there, maybe he was a local engineer or something.
‘Yes, whenever you feel like you’re having a breakdown, feel free to call me!’
Ah, one of those jokes that you don’t get until you suddenly do get it. And then feel like an idiot.
I laughed, and gave him his drink.
The next day he came back again, asked how I was doing.
‘No mental breakdowns today!’ I proclaimed cheerfully. He did not remember our previous conversation.
‘Are you an enemy to yourself?’ he asked.
‘Have you ever had a mental breakdown?’
‘Do you feel constantly depressed?’ he asked again.
‘Only because of working here!’ I laugh and quickly hand off the drink.
Since then, he’s put me on edge. I don’t doubt he’s a nice guy. But he freaks me out.
Today, he beats his own record.
‘There’s a hair here, is this yours?’ he says at the ordering point.
‘Oh goodness, I hope not! I don’t think so,’ I say, going to move the hair.
‘You know, you really shouldn’t leave these things around,’ he smiles, ‘anyone could get hold of your hair, and then they could do voodoo, or tie it round things and control you, make you do things, you should be careful.’
Oh. My. God.
I move the hair, and throw it away, giggling nervously.
‘Thank you for that advice. There really are some weirdos in the world,’ I smile.
‘Yes, there are.’ He doesn’t move, just stands there, until the barista at the bar calls out his drink.
‘Have a great day!’ I chirp, and he slowly moves away.
I suddenly miss my snobby triple shot decaf-soya-semi-dry-latte customers. They probably think Voodoo is a designer range at Selfridges.