Wrong Number


Some guy named Israel once had my phone number.

I learned this when I went to Auto Zone to buy windshield wiper blades. Auto Zone is one of those corporations that tracks customers by their phone numbers. After the counter guy punched mine into his computer, he looked at me and said, Israel?

Not even close, I told him.

Now when I make a purchase at Auto Zone, both my name and Israel’s pops up on the computer screen. Will Israel ever be cleared from their system?

Black Vintage TelephoneEven though I’ve had my phone number for four years, I still occasionally get calls for Israel. Who goes so long without talking to a friend that s/he doesn’t know he changed his phone number over four years ago?

Sometimes the caller speaks in Spanish, and I’m not sure if he (it’s almost always men who call) is calling particularly for Israel or if it’s a misdial. These guys hang up when I say, Hello? Hello? What? Maybe they know the person they want to talk to is not an English-speaking woman.

Often my phone is turned off or put away, so I don’t hear it ring, and I don’t realize until later that someone I don’t know called. Those folks hardly ever leave a message. I only suspect they’re Israel’s friends because their area code is the same as mine.

A couple of times, I’ve actually spoken with the person who was trying to find Israel.

One guy cut me off with apologies before I could finish saying, You have the wrong number. I don’t know anyone named Israel. I’ve had this number for three years.

Another guy, upon hearing my wrong number rap, said only Sorry, lady, sorry before hanging up.

Maybe after not speaking to Israel for years, those guys didn’t really expect him to answer his last known number.

The most exasperating caller never asked for Israel, so I don’t know if she were trying to contact him or someone else.

The caller was an old lady, from the sound of her, a very old lady. I heard from her several times in the first few months after I got my phone number.

I can’t remember if she first left a message on my voice mail or if I actually answered a call from a number I didn’t recognize. In any case, I found myself speaking with a very old woman who denied calling me. She was convinced I’d called her. Well, I did call her, at least once, after she’d left a message on my voice mail, but she denied she’d called me first. I tried to tell her she  had the wrong number, but she couldn’t understand she’d dialed the wrong number when she was convinced I’d called her. After a couple of rounds of us both claiming the other had called first, I named her number Old Lady Who Didn’t Call. Since the phone I had then didn’t allow me to block numbers, I just wouldn’t answer when I saw the Old Lady Who Didn’t Call was calling.

I haven’t heard from the Old Lady Who Didn’t Call in a long time. I hope she finally contacted the person she really wanted to talk to.


Image courtesy of https://www.pexels.com/photo/black-vintage-telephone-209634/.

About Blaize Sun

My name is Blaize Sun. Maybe that's the name my family gave me; maybe it's not. In any case, that's the name I'm using here and now. I've been a rubber tramp for nearly a decade.I like to see places I've never seen before, and I like to visit the places I love again and again. For most of my years on the road, my primary residence was my van. For almost half of the time I was a van dweller, I was going it alone. Now I have a little travel trailer parked in a small RV park in a small desert town. I also have a minivan to travel in. When it gets too hot for me in my desert, I get in my minivan and move up in elevation to find cooler temperatures or I house sit in town in a place with air conditioning I was a work camper in a remote National Forest recreation area on a mountain for four seasons. I was a camp host and parking lot attendant for two seasons and wrote a book about my experiences called Confessions of a Work Camper: Tales from the Woods. During the last two seasons as a work camper on that mountain, I was a clerk in a campground store. I'm also a house and pet sitter, and I pick up odd jobs when I can. I'm primarily a writer, but I also create beautiful little collages; hand make hemp jewelry and warm, colorful winter hats; and use my creative and artistic skills to decorate my life and brighten the lives of others. My goal (for my writing and my life) is to be real. I don't like fake, and I don't want to share fake. I want to share my authentic thoughts and feelings. I want to give others space and permission to share their authentic selves. Sometimes I think the best way to support others is to leave them alone and allow them to be. I am more than just a rubber tramp artist. I'm fat. I'm funny. I'm flawed. I try to be kind. I'm often grouchy. I am awed by the stars in the dark desert night. I hope my writing moves people. If my writing makes someone laugh or cry or feel angry or happy or troubled or comforted, I have done my job. If my writing makes someone think and question and try a little harder, I've done my job. If my writing opens a door for someone, changes a life, I have done my job well. I hope you enjoy my blog posts, my word and pictures, the work I've done to express myself in a way others will understand. I hope you appreciate the time and energy I put into each post. I hope you will click the like button each time you like what you have read. I hope you will share posts with the people in your life. I hope you'll leave a comment and share your authentic self with me and this blog's other readers. Thank you for reading.  A writer without readers is very sad indeed.

One Response »

  1. I got calls like that with my last phone number. Some of the calls were in Spanish, and some in English. One woman finally took the time to explain that the guy was a handyman who did odd jobs, like minor plumbing leaks, and shed and fence repairs. That probably explained the long time between calls: he changed his number and didn’t contact all of his past clients, some of whom probably just used him very occasionally.

    Pity. At the time, I could have used a good handyman!

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