Since I moved into my building there are only two people I’ve seen more than once—the young African American guy who lives next door to me, and a desi guy who is always smoking outside (because our building is a non-smoking building). I’ve met a few random people on the elevator or on my floor and made small talk but I never see them more than once.
This week I arrived back from visiting my parents so I had tons of food and supplies with me that I lugged to the elevator. I hit the “up” button, waited, and once the doors opened a tall desi guy hops out. He proceeds to stare at me with his eyes wide like I was the last piece of chicken tikka on the grill, and when I get in, he hops back into the elevator as well.
“I forgot something upstairs,” he says.
aaiite brah… not like I asked but OK.
He pressed the 4 button and I press 3, “oh you live on the third floor?”
Nah brah, I just like pressing random buttons?
“yea I live on the third floor…”
I can see the wheels turning in his head, I just choose not to make eye-contact.
Please don’t talk to me, please don’t talk to me.
“Are you just moving in? How long did you live here? Do you go to school? Do you go to Widener (the university our building is a block away from)? No, what school do you go to? What are you studying? What’s your major? What’s your name? Where are you from? How old are you?”
He went on in his heavy Indian accent to shoot out questions like a robot.I had no idea what he said his name was but it sounded like Kelp. So from henceforth, he will be known until the end of time as Kelp.
After his interrogation and me providing one-word answers in the 1 minute 30 seconds it takes to get from the first floor to the third, I said “bye” and got off the elevator. He asked if I needed help because I had so many bags but I reassured him I’m fine and said good-bye again.
Of course, that’s not how my life works.
HE FOLLOWED ME OUT THE ELEVATOR.
Not only that he continues to interrogate me.
“Do you live with your family? No, where does your family live? Who do you live with? Do you have a roommate? You live alone? Are you single? Do you want to exchange numbers?”
Me, like an idiot, continues to answer all these personal questions that I probably should not be telling ANYONE with just a yes or a no. I don’t exactly live in the safest of neighborhoods, I shouldn’t be telling anyone who I live with. All this, as he continues to walk out the elevator and go around the corner towards my apartment. My brain finally caught up with me and I stopped walking, I don’t want him knowing which apartment is mine.
All this, as he continues to walk out the elevator and go around the corner towards my apartment. My brain finally caught up with me and I stopped walking, I don’t want him knowing which apartment is mine.
I paused when he asked for my number and then he rushes out with “no pressure, it’s ok, we don’t have to date” —BRAH WHO’S OUT HERE TRYING TO DATE YOU?—”just as friends, just as friends, we can chat, maybe, sometimes, we should exchange numbers.”
I kindly said “no thanks…..bye?” and FINALLY he gets back onto the elevator. I waited until I heard the elevator go down before I ran down the hall to my apartment.
Again, this is me, so remember how I mentioned I never see anyone twice in my building…. guess who I see the next day on the elevator….
I grabbed some groceries after class and I’m getting on the elevator as he is getting out. He literally runs to grab his mail so he can hop back on the elevator with me. I don’t even think he got his own mail he just picked up some ish lying outside the building manager’s door because that was definitely NOT enough time for him to unlock his mailbox, get the mail, lock the box, and walk back to the elevator before the elevator doors closed.
I was frantically pressing the close button so I could avoid him but God forbid things like that ever work out for me.
Thankfully this time he stared at me like I was the last piece of paneer in the palak paneer, and asked about my groceries excessively cheerfully. He said my name wrong—which I corrected— and like an eager lab, only walked half-way out the elevator this time asking to help me with the two bags of groceries I had.
Kelp the creeper is polite, but he looks at me like he wants to eat me, he’s too needy, he talks like a robot giving orders, he doesn’t speak to you—he corners you and interrogates you. He has no sense of personal space or privacy. Who asks a random girl who she lives with after 3 minutes of meeting her? I don’t know, burglars? Psycho-stalkers?
Maybe it’s because I’m a terribly snobby white-washed coconut flavored barbie doll but the desi accent does not excite me at all. Unless you look like Fawad Khan or Sidharth Malhotra, I’m really not going to be able to live with that. Yes, I know I’m a terribly shallow person.
Update: While attempting to connect to my wifi, I discovered a wifi name eerily similar to Kelp’s…I believe I now know what his name actually is but I’m just going to stick to Kelp.
[Gif sources: Giphy]