Sunday, September 07, 2003


Two years ago, during that pivotal summer of 2001 (the summer of my first beating, the summer I made friends, and the summer I decided to go to bible school) I was attending the Winnipeg Centre Vineyard in the North End of Winnipeg. I liked it very much there. The people were quirky but engaging, and you could get high on sniff passing the bootleggers on the way in, but I felt like I meshed pretty well in that particular fellowship, so I continued to drive an hour in to go to my church where I was quite content to sit in the balcony and watch all the interesting people.

One of the very interesting people who went to that church (and recently reappeared) shall remain nameless, but eventually I affectionately named her "Suzy Psychopath." This is the story of why I watch my back when I go to church.

It was late Saturday night, and the evening service "Celebration" was just wrapping up. I was there with three friends from Steinbach, and two of us went to the basement to use the facilities. As we were coming up the stairs, we rain into the third and youngest of our group, Steph, whose older sister was still upstairs. Steph was in tears and nearing hyperventilation. When we asked her what was wrong, she only said that some girl was upstairs and wouldn't let go of her sister.

I thought it was really strange that Steph would be upset about it, but thinking that Steph was just really emotional, I didn't heed the warning that flashed through my mind. I marched up the stairs to find Suzy clinging to Kristi's t-shirt. Kristi was talking to her in low tones, cornered against the wall. I recognized Suzy as a girl who had struck up a conversation with me earlier that night, and I remembered thinking at the time that something was off...... but once again, I failed to listen to my intuition. I approached the two girls and commented matter of factly....

"Okay, this is totally not cool."

To which she replied, "Touch me and I'll kill you."

I had no intention of touching her. Had I any inkling of where the evening would go I would have gone straight to the leadership cleaning up sound equipment on the stage and requested an exorcist to assist. However, I was inexperienced with such scenarios, and more than a little annoyed. I tend to be quite protective, and one of my favorite people was crying.

It was nearly an hour before we managed to rip her talons from our clothing, with the help of a few guys. Even those three guys were nearly helpless in the face of her seemingly supernatural strength. We took off down the front steps and down the street, where Steph's overnight things were in her sister's car. We would need to turn around and pass the church again in order to get to my car, since she was coming with me to spend the night in the city.

As we were passing the church, we spotted Suzy coming out of the church. One of the guys suggested to me that I run ahead and get my car unlocked, so I began to jog down the street. I thought it was over. There was no way I expected that we would be chased down the street.

But that's exactly what happened. Suzy began screaming and cursing and took off at a run. I heard yelling behind me and bolted for the car as quickly as I'd ever run before. No sooner had I jumped in and unlocked the passenger side, than girls were diving in after me, and though we'd all had a lengthy head start, Suzy landed on the hood of my car only a moment later. She was cursing and screaming and slamming her fists onto the hood. The three guys were still around, but she didn't bother them. She only wanted us.

One of the guys still had Steph's things, and wanted to put them in the trunk. He was trying to talk to me, but I couldn't hear him. Since Suzy was still on the hood screaming obscenities, I opened the window, just a crack, so we could communicate. In a flash, Suzy had rushed around to my window and had her hands around my throat. She was still screaming but now she had three guys with their arms around her, trying to pull her away from the car. Inside the car, my friends were trying to unlatch her fingers from my throat. I was only trying to tear my eyes away from hers. They were black, reflective, angry.

Finally, the efforts of 5 people released me from her grip and I rolled up the window. As the guys pulled her back from the car, I hit the gas and we sped away down the street. About a block down, we pulled into a parking lot and waited for word that things were okay. It wasn't long before a dark van came and took her away, and the guys came to make sure that everyone was alright. A couple of us had been hit, and kicked, but we were mostly just shaken up.

This began my happy relationship with Suzy Psychopath. It came to my attention at church the next morning that she was supposed to be on meds, but had refused to take them. Many incidences followed, none quite so severe. Suzy had a fascination with me and my friends. She liked to hang around with us, ask us lots of questions, play with our hair, finger our jewellery. We did our best to avoid her, and she occasionally acted up and was escorted out of whatever event we were attending.

This was around the time I began sitting up in the balcony, in the far right wing, where the entire church was visible, and no-one was behind me. I was always on the watch for Suzy, as I was terribly afraid of her. HOLY COW!! DATA IS KISSING THE BORG!!!

Anyways, now we meet in a different building, one without a balcony, and Suzy has recently reappeared. I wasn't aware of this until I was walking along the back of the church one sunday morning, and she hugged me from behind.

"Guess Who!!!" she sang out and I nearly lost my breakfast.

Church is always an adventure in the North End.


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