Hmmm . . . . where to start.
I typically don't answer the phone if the caller ID shows a number that I do not recognize. This was the case tonight. A 919 area code popped on my cellular around 9:30 and it didn't even dawn on me to answer it. A few moments later I heard the voicemail ring. While checking the voicemail I received several shocks:
1 - It was a voice I had not heard in almost 2 years.
2 - He was begging me to return his call as soon as I could.
3 - He sounded hurt and scared.
We met when I was 16 and he was a worldly 19. I remember being in shock and awe at this boy who drank constantly, was super attractive and seemed to have every woman in the world begging for his attentions. And for whatever reason, he paid attention to me. I was the one he kissed and whispered sweet nothings to. I was the naive girl he shocked by telling stories of how he lost his virginity and how it felt to turn down girls he had led on. I was the one he drunk dialed. I realize this is all really pathetic now, but at 16 you're in such a panic about how to be cool . . . and these are the things that seemed beyond cool.
He took off for college (late birthday and held back a year for some unknown reason) in North Carolina. It almost broke my heart, but, per usual for any young girl, I survived.
A year later he found my number and started calling again. He said he just missed me. We spoke a few times and I found out that the Brandon I thought I knew had changed dramatically. He was doing a few drugs, skipping most all his classes, drunk constantly and sleeping with anything that moved. Before long, I got the call that they were expelling him from college. I didn't even want to hear what horrible thing he had done to provoke that measure. I just knew that he wasn't the person I knew anymore and I wanted nothing to do with it. But I was still young and completely non-confrontational and how do you tell someone that you were so enamored of that you never want to talk to them again.
Randomly, I receive a phone call saying his parents have kicked him out, he has nothing going for him, and down and out as he is, he can think of no one else he wants to be around but me. That I was the first and only person he could be himself with. By this time, I am a Freshman at college, I have no idea how he got my number and am unsure that I want to know. I start avoiding my answering machine like the plague. When I do finally check it, I discover that Brandon spent his last bit of money to buy a bus ticket from North Carolina (his parents and sister had also moved there when he left for college) to Arkansas and had nothing but two changes of clothes, a backpack and a calling card. He has somehow discovered what dormitory I am living in and is going to try and find some way to make it from the bus station to my dormitory.
I am beyond scared and immediately call a few of my friends on the campus police force. I give them the only pictures I have left of him and they assure me, as friends and policemen, that they will not leave the area of my dorm unguarded for a few days. He never showed up.
Four years later, another call. Again, I have no idea where he got the number. He is married. I am happy for him. He is successful in a business attempt and expecting a child in 6 months. I am ecstatic. We form a tentative friendship for a few weeks which is quickly discarded on his end. Until tonight, I didn't know why.
His wife, appearantly, from hearing tales of me for years, has decided he is in love with me and has always been and therefore has forbidden him to speak with me. No harm, no foul; after that many years and the great personality changes, it was no great loss.
But tonight . . . Brandon calls. His wife is leaving him. He has paranoid delusions about her sending neighbors to plant things in his house to prevent him from gaining even visitation rights to their 18 month old son. He tells me he has a noose hanging from his ceiling in his house. He tells me that I am the only person he could ever talk to. That I am the only person who ever loved him for him and accepted who he was. And I hate to admit this . . . .but I'm steadily hearing a monologue in my head that's saying things like - "Accepted you for who you WERE not who you are. You NOW sound like a trailer park, white trash, druggy, drunk with no education and no prospects. Why are you calling? Why are you calling? Why are you calling?" - - but I keep this to myself.
And then . . .
"Sweetie, if you would just tell me that I would have a place to stay, I would be on the next plane, train or automobile to your place. You have always been my best friend. Just let me stay until I can get a job and get back on my feet. And we will go from there. And I'm not even talking about in a romantic way. I mean that would be great because I've always been in love with you and I would love to be with you. But if you're not the same thats fine too. I just need your friendship. I need you to be the person you've always been with me."
Oh sweet holy God mother of pearl, fuck a duck, what the hell . . . here we go again.
May I introduce to you - THE BIGGEST FREAK MAGNET OF ALL TIME - ME.
ME ME ME.
I always get the freaks.
You know, the guy in Wal-Mart at 3 AM with two teeth, ratty converse sneakers, cut-off wranglers and an air brushed T-shirt that says "Rack 'Em, Steve" but his cohorts are calling him Eddie? Those are the guys that hit on me.
Or I get the ones that are perfectly normal, even wonderful, for a month . . . the guys that you think "I could settle into a good relationship with this man someday" and then suddenly turn bipolar, schitzophrenic, stalkerish or borderline gay.
I am so on the line here. I am starting to believe all the good men (the four of them) are all married already and the rest of the losers are out there trolling for me. ARGH!