The Phone Call

September 23, 2016 — 69 Comments

phone-call

 

“So, basically you just said anything so you could fuck me, is that it?”

He answered without hesitation.

“Yes. Of course!”

His blunt honesty dumbfounded me momentarily, the way an oncoming headlight blinds you. Disoriented by his unabashed admission, I blurted out a rhetorical, “But why?”

“Why do you think?” he said. “Because that’s what men DO. We tell you what we want to hear so we can have sex with you.”

I wanted this to not be true, despite the fact that I believed it was. I should have hung up on him right then. But now I felt like I had stumbled upon a tunnel into a secret room where All The Questions would finally be answered truthfully. And I am a truth seeker.

“All men, all the time? Or just you, because seriously, you were relentless!”

“Oh, you were definitely work,” he said, “but I knew if I kept feeding you what you wanted to hear, I’d get you eventually. But yeah, all men, all the time. Married, single, whatever. We say what we have to say so we can get laid. It doesn’t have to be true. It just has to work.”

I needed air.

I cracked my car window open and the cry of cicadas suddenly filled my car in surround-sound. They were louder than usual, and harsher, as if their haunting vibrato was the audio manifestation of my inner despair.

I was in my car driving home from open school night when I had called him to tell him that no, we weren’t going to be seeing each other anymore and that I didn’t like the way his behavior had changed. That he had gone from months of constant dogged attention to a more disinterested and sporadic communication.

After we had sex, that is.

Now I was pulled over on an unknown street, my car idling in the dark. Up ahead, I could see the lights of the stores still open on Route 9, and I fought the intense urge to drive to a nearby 7-Eleven and buy cigarettes. I hadn’t smoked in years, but suddenly I really, really needed one.

“So that whole first conversation we had, when we were on the phone for hours – was everything you said designed to get in my pants? I wasn’t even going to meet you, but you convinced me to have dinner with you that first night with all the shit you laid on me, about how women are emotional and sensitive and men need to be strong and supportive for them.”

“Yep. I knew that’s what you wanted to hear, so I said it. We had a great dinner didn’t we? We must have, because look where it led. I thought of it as an investment.”

“Dude, that is fucking cold! I mean, I’m jaded as fuck, but really?”

“Really.”

Fuck cigarettes. I needed tequila and opiates.

I said to him, “I don’t even want a relationship! Not a romantic relationship, but just friendship. So when I told you that I couldn’t commit to a relationship, but that I did want a man who would be there for me as a friend, you said you wanted to be that man just to fuck me?”

“Yep!” He laughed. “Why does this surprise you?’

I hated the way he sounded. Cold. Detached. The cruelty tingeing his voice gave him a hardness that didn’t even sound like the man I had spent time with.

“It doesn’t surprise me, ” I answered. “It’s just disappointing. Despite the fact that I think most people suck, I still want to believe that there might be a few decent human beings left. But this is exactly why I don’t get involved. This.”

“I thought you said you wanted to have this discussion in person,” he said. “Why don’t you come over?”

“Come over??!” I was aghast at his inane suggestion. “Because my kid is waiting for me at home, and also, I’d punch you in your face now if I came over!”

He chuckled. “I doubt that. How tall are you? I’m 6’4.”

“Are you drunk? You’re just shy of six feet! What, did you suddenly grow four-”

I stopped.
“Who is this??” I demanded.

“This is Michael. Who is this?”

I looked down at my phone.

I had dialed the wrong number.

 

Did you ever dial a wrong number and have a wake-up call?
Talk to me. I’m listening. 

 

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69 responses to The Phone Call

  1. 

    Okay, first, before anything else, this is SO WELL WRITTEN! Kudos. And what a great story. All the way to the end…wrong number! hahahah. It’s also distressing. I also refuse to believe that ALL men are like that. I know a huge number of them are, but I have to hold out hope. I have to.

  2. 

    Nooooooo

    Really?

    (And I’ve for sure encountered men like that. I think you’ve read about them. The worst was a high school guidance counsellor! 🙄)

  3. 

    I’m trying to figure out if this actually happened, or is a short story??

    • 

      Just last night. Exactly as written.
      I dialed one digit off. So I have this charmer’s phone number, if I ever want more conversation with him.

      • 

        I’m guessing the guy you actually meant to dial, might not be so forthcoming, as he would most likely bullshit you to get you into bed again!

        I fucking hope to god all guys aren’t total shit bags like that.

      • 

        The sad thing, though, is that I think this man was just giving me the honest version of what happened with the real guy.
        I don’t know. People mystify me. xoxoxo

      • 

        I think he probably was too, because I was guessing the scenario was pretty much the same with the other guy.

        I sometimes wonder though, if maybe you’d like a little bit more commitment than you’re willing to admit?? 😉

      • 

        It seems that what I’m looking for – intimacy and friendship – IS what’s considered a “relationship.” So I guess I have to re-think what I’m looking for.

        Not right now, though. I don’t have the time for this crap. I have shit to do!

      • 

        Well, admitting you’re looking for a relationship is the first step. hahaha

        I can admit I’m looking for one, but I rarely actively seek it. I expect it to come to me!!

      • 

        I’m so relationship-phobic. Interactions like this don’t help, either.

        And I think relationships DO just happen, and rarely when you’re seeking one. You have the right idea.

      • 

        I’m obviously extremely relationship-phobic too. lol Wonder why?? Because pretty much all of my previous relationships have been a shit show!

        I’ve been single for almost 2 years now, and hate to think that I may remain so. I continue to have a tiny little kernel of hope, though it’s buried deep down in my cold, dead heart.

        It would be nice to be able to expect the best from people, but I protect myself by expecting the worst. When they do better, then I’m pleasantly surprised. The pleasant surprises are few and far between. lol

  4. 

    It’s too bad you can’t warn the girl he thought he was talking to! Dirt bag. The few of these guys that I’ve met in my past telegraphed their intentions from a mile away. It was obvious that all they wanted was some sex. Unfortunately, some are way more subtle than that and one or two have slipped under my radar.

  5. 

    I literally laughed out loud from relief at the end. And so many guys really ARE like that 😦

    • 

      I thought I was talking to the man I know, and honestly, I think this is really how he does feel. Only this complete stranger articulated it. How weird is THAT?

  6. 

    Wow. Just – wow. I so did not expect that. And it gave me just enough pause to wonder how many of those failed “relationships” of mine were really just about knockin boots.

    • 

      I don’t know.
      And I also wonder, are there women like this? Who use deceit to get sex? Or is it just – I guess easier, for us, so we don’t have to?

      • 

        I always thought that guys have it tougher if they want to get laid, whereas girls can pretty much get it when they want. As for deception, I can’t honestly say. I will, however, confess to using a ruse to get into bed with a “friend” in my 20s, and thankfully, he actually respected me enough to say no. I’d say that’s probably not typical.

      • 

        Not typical that you were deceptive, or not typical that he actually said no?

      • 

        I meant that he said no, but now that you’re asking – both. =D

  7. 

    Wow. That wrong number was what most of us guys cal a “player,” or he was all full of crap. Well both really. Great twist at the end, Samara. I never saw that coming. There are some guys like that. Most of the rest of us hate him, watching from the friend zone of some gal we’re in love with as she steps in front of an emotional freight train that will just keep rolling after she’s flattened and even angrier at men in general. This is biology screwing with everyone’s emotions, and has been going on since the dawn of time. The slick guys go through girl after girl, and those of us with hearts tend to live long stretches of our lives among the mushrooms. SMH

  8. 

    I don’t recall getting anything like that out of a wrong number. That guy’s attitude, that its all about getting laid and doing saying whatever works, is what has always felt slimy to me about the whole context of dating. Of course, I’m sure I’ve missed some opportunities by not being willing to risk a friendship on the chance of more. I really don’t like that guy! So, did you call the right number, or let it slide?

    • 

      I was in kind of a haze when the call ended. And to be honest, I felt like whoever this was articulated for me what the other person probably felt, so no- I just let it go. Delete, block, move on.

  9. 

    So hilarious. I agree that many men feel that way. I also think it can be a fall-back position if they feel they’re being dumped. The “I don’t care” thing can be defensive posturing.

  10. 

    Thank you! Laughing with a broad smile on my face.

  11. 

    Just thought I would drop in and give you a hug and a kiss on the cheek.

  12. 

    Hahahaha. I haven’t dialed a number since I got an iPhone. I think I’m safe.

  13. 

    Not all guys are like that, Samara. That’s what wanted to hear, right? 🙂
    And are you sure you haven’t gone out with this Michael long time ago, then deleted his number? Because he sounded like he wasn’t surprised you called, and also apparently didn’t feel like this was a wrong number.

    • 

      Maybe I DID date him!
      No, it was just a wrong number and I have no clue why we thought we were talking to people we know.
      I know lots of great guys! I know they’re not all like that.
      I have a date tonight. I’ll keep you posted 😜

  14. 

    Fully laughing out loud over here. Hilarious. I mean, yes men are dogs, that is sad, but the arc of the story was priceless.

    • 

      This was not really meant to be funny, but so many people found it so!
      Men are not all dogs. There are some great people, and some not-so-great, of both genders.
      I’m so glad you stopped by to read!

  15. 

    Bwahahaha HuGS

  16. 

    That was amazing. Love love love your writing. Content AND your way with words.

  17. 
    Faith, trust, and pixie dust September 25, 2016 at 11:05 pm

    Omg 😮 that’s all I can muster up…

  18. 

    All is well that ends well…

    Hushh

  19. 

    Oh CRAP NO WAY. NO freaking WAY! I’m wondering if you then called the RIGHT number and asked the same questions…

    And that dude is sick and twisted and ABSOLUTELY WRONG.

    Sure guys have that organic sexual need/desire- but don’t you EVER THINK there aren’t men out there who love with their hearts and minds too.

    Oh this makes me so angry and disgusted.

    • 

      No, I never called the right number. Although I absolutely know that all men are not like this, I DID feel that this wrong number person articulated for me what the other man believes. But would not have had the guts to say.

  20. 

    Wow! He sounded like some of the guys that crossed my path many moons ago. He’s the kinda guy that after my second divorce made me contemplate maybe looking for a same sex “girl” friend. My lesbian friend told me “there are no guarantees with that”. She said there are those in the lesbian world like that too, (in other words his behavior is not gender specific) “besides you’re not destined to be a lez”, she tells me. She’s right. So, I stuck to and married my best friend and 25 years later, we’re still together.

    • 

      I think women are as capable of unsavory behavior as men. People mystify me, which is why I like books.

      • 

        As a child I was picked on a lot and the worst were by girls. I played ball with the boys. I had many mixed behaviors because of my abuse, so I really was socially stunted and then when guys started behaving as your phone call “date”… well, it was not a fun period for me. I read a lot as well and rescued animals. I counted on animals to be safer than humans.

      • 

        I trust animals more than I trust people.

  21. 

    oh HA! That did not go where I thought it was going! BTW – your prose are insane. Like crazy-good-insane. This one: “I cracked my car window open and the cry of cicadas suddenly filled my car in surround-sound. They were louder than usual, and harsher, as if their haunting vibrato was the audio manifestation of my inner despair.” << that's poetic and amazing. You are such an incredible writer.

  22. 

    You had me going. In my mind I was preparing my rebuttal comment about how not all guys are like that and then BOOM! Gotcha! Welcome back!

  23. 

    Heebie Jeebies. I have two questions…1. It has been over a week. Have you spoken to the intended recipient of the call? 2. It’s been over a week and I’m not seeing this til now…wtf email?

    • 

      I never spoke to him, no. I felt like the wrong number guy was articulating what my person was thinking, but would never be honest enough to say. So I got my answer.
      Email sucks. The Internet is wonky. But I love you tons.

  24. 

    What a great surprise ending. I’m only a little disturbed she didn’t realize the voice was off, but voices like faces can sometimes melt into the indistinguishable when we don’t really care about them. I loved this short, it was great prose.

  25. 

    Guys like this justify their behavior by believing that all men are like that. To them it’s ok for them to deceive, because it’s their nature and women should know it (so it’s their own fault if they are deceived). If they admit to themselves that all men are not like this, then they have to take responsibility for it. No man can speak for us all. But you know what else I don’t get about people like this? Do they just want to have sex once? Is it the thrill of the hunt for them? Do they not actually like sex?

    • 

      I think there is absolutely something to the “thrill of the hunt.” I was ghosted by a man who spent months chasing me. We talked, texted, went on dates. I held off having sex with him because I wanted to get to know him.

      Afterwards, he dropped me like a hot potato. That’s a LOT of effort to put into someone, just to sleep with them one time. Since we had great chemistry, the only thing I can come up with is that the hunt was done. And so was he

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