From the Booklet on Uneasiness:
When I was fifteen I had a mysterious caller. Maybe now he’d be called a stalker. I automatically want to qualify that; I had a bit of a stalker, but then I hesitate because that makes it sound of less importance, and I don’t think that is the case.
Well, except at the time, I didn’t even recognize it as potentially stalking. It wasn’t a commonly used term that I can remember.
Was he less threatening than other stalkers? Yes, thankfully. But it’s all relative.
The biggest problem that I have with it now, in retrospect, is that I didn’t recognize the threat he potentially posed. I mean it wasn’t that I was flattered, and I definitely had zero feelings for him; I became increasingly more uncomfortable about him.
But I didn’t even see the threat. I didn’t think to tell an adult, say my father; that he was out there: watching, calling.
That bothers me. Immensely.
I feel like we hear about these situations more often now. Maybe I’m wrong though.
His name was Ted, at least that’s what he told me. I don’t even know if it was. He didn’t tell me his last name, and I didn’t ask I guess because he told me that he went to a different high school than I did. He said that his school, and his home for that matter, was in the area, but way outside of town, it was really rural.
That’s what he said.
He called me for several months, every few days during the week and often on the weekends, at first. He seemed pleasant enough, but I felt weird because I didn’t know him. God only knows what we talked about or how much personal information I divulged while speaking to him. Or maybe I didn’t tell him much.
He actually had a nice voice. I guess it must have been very non-threatening. Although now in my head he only sounds like the voice of the caller in the Scream movies.
He began intimating things to me, like that he’d been seeing me places. I remember an afternoon spent at the mall with a friend, we’d walked around and gone into several stores looking at all the cool things that we would buy if we had the money. We ate and laughed, and acted young and silly. We had fun.
Then once I was home, he called me. He’d been at the mall, too. Had I just been face-to-face with him? I wondered to myself.
He knew what I’d been wearing, and he described it in great detail. He also named the stores I’d gone into.
This should have freaked me out. And although it made me feel weirded-out, I chalked it up to a harmless coincidence. I brushed it off.
How did I not realize that this was not typical, really scary and conceivably not harmless, at all?
I do remember, although it’s fuzzy, something he’d said made me feel that he was less outgoing a person than I was, maybe even a bit of a social outcast. He’d told me he knew someone who knew of me from school and they’d told him that I was popular and so therefore, probably a snob.
But he told me that he thought that I was really nice and they must be wrong.
Most likely every word he said to me was total bullshit. But I believed it all. And I kind of felt bad for him, so I talked to him more often than I wanted, for longer than I wanted.
He’d portrayed himself as a bit of a misfit, a lonely, misunderstood guy.
N.A.I.V.E. That was me. It wouldn’t be the last time, either.
I clearly remember starting to feel a little paranoid, wondering if he was there -wherever I went. Wondering, could he see me and would he call me to tell me about it later?
His calls started to get kind of annoying and besides that I had met a guy that I really liked and had just begun to date. The last thing I wanted to do was spend any of my free time talking to Ted.
I started avoiding his calls. We didn’t have any computers or social media to speak of back then, no way of even using Caller ID, this was long before that advancement came about.
Avoiding someone was a lot more difficult when everyone in the household had a reason to answer all the incoming calls in case they were for them. Plus my father was self-employed, so it was his work phone.
We did have a double line…but calls were completely anonymous. Times sure have changed.
I had to resort to white-lying, “My dad is waiting for a work call”, or “The other line is beeping, did you just hear that?”
He found out I was dating someone, I’ve no idea how, but he called one night and told me he knew. Also he added that I was lucky I chose a big football player.
I found that comment really weird. But even though he sounded really pissed off I still wasn’t afraid.
Did it really matter who my new boyfriend was? Was this just an excuse to move on? Was he ever really dangerous? Was he even real? Who was Ted?
I still entertain the idea that someday someone that I do actually know will come forward and admit it was them. Like Ashton Kutcher, they’d just been punk’ing me before that was a thing…
Should I have said something to an authority figure? Perhaps. Why didn’t I?
I guess that I’ll never know for certain of the whys. Maybe I was really lucky…maybe it was nothing much of anything…
***I’m composing & compiling some vignettes into a
longer piece for later. Meanwhile, I plan to share at least
a few of them them here on my blog. The complete
compilation will most likely be called ‘Vade Mecum’. It’s
pronounced vey-dee mee-kuhm, and basically means
hand book, it’s Latin and translates to ‘go with me’.
They will be memoir pieces. They are all true, and from
my past. The overall theme is ‘Discomfort’…each
vignette will be: based on a synonym for this theme,
about a different memory for each word, & presented
as an excerpt from a varyingly titled type of handbook
or guide to…
[This is #2]
Raina K Morton April 7 2015