A Lesson In Giving Your Phone Number To Strangers

Have you ever been so desperate to extract yourself from a heinous situation that you’ll do anything, even if there’s a strong chance it might backfire?

I’m talking about desperate times calling upon the most desperate of measures. I found myself in one of these hopelessly desperate situations when, in true 21st century fashion, I was being cyber-raped by text and picture messages from an exceptionally creepy investment banker I had met one night at a club in New York City. And by “met” I mean made out with on the dance floor to the electronically impairing DJ beats while pure vodka seeped from our sweat glands.

I know what you’re thinking, “Well duh he’s harassing you after you groped him and gave him your phone number! Not to mention Taylor, you’re such a good kisser that of course he became obsessed with you!” And I do agree with you; in retrospect, I should not have made out with him, but I had just gotten home to New York that weekend and was still in college-mode where it’s a socially acceptable to slobber on anything with a pulse and then never speak to them again. You could imagine my dismay when a mere fifteen minutes after I drunkenly slurred out my phone number to this guy I received three different pictures of this American Psycho’s penthouse apartment and a message saying “Let’s leave.” Suddenly the 700 person capacity venue became way too small. My friend and I left the club to end our night with pizza. In the middle of my fourth slice I got another text “Where r u, I got us a cab.” I hated him for his horrible punctuation and I hated myself for my horrible choice in a dance floor make out buddy. I sent back a polite text “Sorry I went home, I threw up in the bathroom.” That oughta do it, I thought to myself. My phone buzzed again “Come over, I’ll pay 4 ur cab.” I guess not.

It did not stop there. Unlike college, he did not forget my existence after that night, and for the next two weeks my phone was bombarded with text message after text message. My initial tactic was to ignore his messages, but he still persisted even without responses, so I resorted to making up lies. He’d text me “Come over” accompanied by a picture of two wine glasses. I’d say “I can’t, I’m having surgery later.” He’d say “Where? I’ll bring u flowers.” I’d say “I’m allergic to pollen.” He’d say “Well I know ur not allergic 2 kissing.” And I’d throw my phone down in defeat, then check that the doors in my house were locked with an eerie feeling that he knew where I lived and was outside masturbating in the bushes.

Ignoring his texts didn’t work and neither did making up excuses. I only had one option left, and that was to beat him at his own game; I had to out-creep the creeper. The day after my “surgery” I received a picture message from my personal Patrick Bateman shirtless on his balcony with the message “Don’t u wish u could come over 2 tan?” No, actually what I wish is that you would at least use the proper form of “you” if you absolutely must text me. I went onto Google Images and after playing around with search words I came across the perfect creepy picture; it was a pile of unclothed baby dolls, one of which was missing a head. I sent the photo with no message to offer even the slightest explanation. My phone buzzed and much to my satisfaction he had responded “…?” I sent another photo, a dimly lit close-up of a Victorian doll’s face and wrote underneath “She’s my favorite ” Five minutes later my phone buzzed, I checked the message and physically jumped for joy when I saw it was a text from my mom. For the first time in weeks I felt as though I could exhale.

The streets were safe again, I could stop living in fear! High on my newfound liberation, I took my dog for a walk and left my phone at home. I smiled at passersby, crossed the street at crosswalks, I even picked up after my dog! We got home from our walk and I left the door unlocked. It was a beautiful day. As I walked over to the kitchen cabinet to give my dog a treat I heard my phone buzz on the counter. My heart rate shot up and I warily checked my phone screen. It was a picture taken in the mirror of the creeper wearing nothing but a pair of tight little black briefs. Underneath he wrote the horrifying message “Y don’t u play with me instead of ur dolls?” Just when I thought things couldn’t get any worse my phone buzzed again in my hand. It was a picture of his king sized bed and underneath stated “Playground.” The twenty minutes of silence that I had taken to be freedom had actually been the time it took for him to take pictures of himself in his underwear until he got a shot he liked. I walked back over to my front door, locked it, and crawled back into my bed to grieve my nightmare of a life. TC mark

image – Yutaka Tsutano

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