You have a stalker? Get rid of him! Block him! Change your phone number!
Gee. Wish I had thought of that.
The last time I blocked him on my cell phone, he called me at my office! And no, we cannot block numbers there. And all he would have to do, if he were pissed off enough, is hit that “zero” for receptionist, tear through the company and embarrass me in front of all those co-workers!
Yes, I know he would. He knows I know. But, one day I will retire from the day job. Then I will block my cell phone. Then I will be free.
Don’t you worry about him showing up, following you?
No. He lives 3,000 miles away from, in New York City. Over the decades, he has become the quintessential New Yorker, seldom venturing much beyond Westchester to the north, New Jersey to the west. Have you seen the widely distributed cover of a 1976 New Yorker magazine issue, depicting the world view of a New Yorker? Not much exists for them west of New Jersey. It is true. There the dragons lay. These days, since he transformed from the strong, brave, alpha man to the agoraphobe holed up in the Bronx, I don’t believe in much chance of him showing up at my door in Portland, Oregon.
See the cover, The World from Ninth Avenue.
A restraining order? For someone making threatening phone calls 3,000 miles away? No, his precinct says to call my precinct. My precinct says to call his precinct. Not much of imminent threat of harm.
His weapon of choice is the damn phone. And he is so so good with it. He seduces with it, he controls with it, he becomes the bigger-than-life Wizard of Oz projected on a giant screen with it. I only got to see the exposed, broken man from behind the curtain after months of a long-distance relationship, marathon sessions on the phone, on Facebook, on YouTube. Hours of laughing and giddiness and storytelling on the phone. Then, the phone was our friend.
Did I mention he was a disc jockey? He was Howard Stern before Howard Stern. I hate Howard Stern. But I love guts. I love a man who talks and talks and talks. Who will sing to me, with me, tell me marathon stories through the night. It’s trite but true. I love a man who makes me laugh.
So, I don’t change my phone number. Reduces the risk of his calling my co-workers, calling my friends, and calling my relatives. Scaring them and making them pity me. I don’t block his number any longer than it takes for him to prove, yes, if I dare block him, he will find another number to call to get to me. Any number will do.
But, perhaps, at least, if I won’t block — I could stop listening to the voice mails?
What would be the harm in that? Why haven’t I done that already? What am I waiting for? For Mr. Hyde to disappear behind the curtain of a 12-step program, leaving Dr. Jekyll behind? For a cure to be found? He will tell you, he has nothing that needs a cure. He does not have a problem that my cooperation will not fix. And only my cooperation. It’s your fault, you know.
I do not listen to all the voice mails anymore. But, I do sample them. Because, I want my Dr. Jekyll back. I sample the temperature of the messages — is the man I knew and loved back? He used to resurface once in a while. It could happen again. Maybe.
I haven’t been able to give up hope. I have tried, tried, and tried. Now I must get off the holding pattern. I am going to find the cure. I’m going to get the Incredible Hulk back into the bottle and I’m going to get my man back. And I’ll start with the very next call.