[March, 1995] You Look Like Such a Freak
I got the strangest phone call today.
The phone rings.
“Hi, can I speak to Damiella?”
“Speaking, who’s this?”
“This is Neil’s girlfriend.”
Then the girl goes off on this thing how she’s seen me hanging out with him and to back off, etc.
I responded with “Who the f@#$ are you?”
The girl told me to stop wearing glitter on my face because I looked like such a freak. Tempting as it was to tell her “thank you” I didn’t and then she hung up.
I called Claudia and left a message about how this was not funny, but I figured it probably wasn’t her. Then I called Didi and got Neil’s number from her (she has the master list from when she worked at the library).
It turns out he does not have a girlfriend. I bet anything it was some 8th grade bitch and I even have my suspicions as to who it was specifically.
This was so strange…
Neil was surprised I hadn’t gotten more calls like that before…
While that call rattled me slightly, more than anything it was flattering. To be deserving of such attention was something I took as a compliment, as affirmation of my place outside the norm. For her to pose as Neil’s girlfriend was an additional, deliciously odd, twist. Let’s be honest, it was just the sort of harmless teen drama I was thrilled to have a taste of. I had been on both ends of prank phone calls before (those who are too young to know anything but caller ID missed out on some fine mischief) but this was taking it to the next level. It was personal, specific, vaguely ominous but ultimately harmless and entertaining to me. And let’s not forget that it gave me a perfectly reasonable excuse to hunt down Neil’s phone number and call him.
I don’t remember who it was I suspected of making the call, but I remember feeling empowered by it, like I reached a heightened state of freakishness. And for Neil to say he expected me to be used to such things signaled that he saw me as a fellow outcast. He didn’t even seem particularly surprised that I called, even though I never had before. Could it be that we were actually becoming friends?
Then of course, there was the confirmation of Neil’s single status. Not that that changed the fact that he was too young for me or probably not interested in me romantically. But still…