I had a most peculiar encounter last night (11/09/2017) and have decided to note it down here as clearly as I can remember it. Maybe someone reading can help shed some light.
I left my friend’s house a little after 10pm to walk home. It’s a short journey along an L-shaped section of the sole road through the village, my house at the end of the long arm, as it were. Not long after I’d rounded the bend of the L, and descended the short slope beyond it, a car slowed down as it approached me from behind.
It stopped just past me, opposite a house, making me believe it would turn in, but proceeded to do nothing, just sit silent and dark as I walked beyond it, no doors opening, no cabin lights turning on, no windows sliding down. I got about 15 yards further on when it moved again, rolling up alongside me.
This time I directed my headlight toward it – I usually avoid that, for fear of dazzling the driver – and saw an elderly gentleman, silver-haired and tidy, gesturing for my attention. Why he didn’t lower the passenger window and call is the first of many oddities.
I opened the door, and politely enquired if I could help. He told me he was lost, had been for a while, and wanted my help getting his bearings. I told him where he was – Bagstone – and mentioned other villages along the road to the north – Cromhall, Charfield, Wotton-Under-Edge, only the last of which gained any reaction, a comment about it “being too far” – and the south – our immediate neighbour Rangeworthy, and Iron Acton further on. His response to those was to ask a vague question about their direction, and then request I get in to his car and show him.
That’s when confusion really set in for me – who would ask someone, a total stranger, to do that? What, exactly, did he mean? I did sit, to try and make conversation easier, noticing how smart and modern his car was, but kept the door open. I asked where he was going, more than once, and got no answer, beyond needing to get to the main road. Twice during this exchange he moved the car forward slightly, startling me enough to exclaim both times.
By this point I was thoroughly confused and a little worried. His behaviour didn’t add up. His manner was pleasant and clear, he spoke well, but little I said registered, and the information he gave me was incredibly limited and vague. He didn’t seem confused or distressed. The best analogy I can give is a phone support operator with a thin script, who either ignore you, or pauses awkwardly, then just picks right back up with the same lines. He appeared unable to compute anything beyond a few simple details – lost, home, main road – which made it impossible to help him.
In the end, I got out of the car, apologising, and he started to drive off without closing his door; thankfully he pulled away very steadily, or I wouldn’t have been able to. I then stood, and watched, confounded and, I’ll admit, distressed, as he rolled out of sight, into the darkness past my house, wondering about his strange behaviour and if I could have helped more, if there was something else I could have done.
I can recall the last three letters of his registration – POP – but have no idea as to the make or model of his car, beyond it being a hatchback, and of quality. It was notably quiet. A Golf, possibly? I can’t remember his face at all, except it being clean-shaven and maybe a little on the professorial side.
Try as I might, I cannot make sense of this experience. I remain somewhat disturbed by it even now. Any help in explaining it greatly appreciated.