I hear noise. Ringing. I think something is ringing. I pop open my eyes and blink a few times. The ringing continues. For a change it is not my head in a drunken fog. Ugh, the phone. I sit up and look around the dark. I seem to have chosen to sleep in my bed instead of on the couch. And I managed to turn off all the lights.
It is rare that I sleep soundly. So the abrupt awakening is jarring enough. I squint to read the time. When I see it is 2:41 a.m., panic rivets through me. Growing up 11.5 hours behind Delhi, late, late night calls were reserved for the announcement of a relative’s death. That kind of dread immediately leads my thoughts down the road of, “OMG I hope nothing has happened to my parents, brother, sister-in-law, niece, Massi, Bangalore Cousin, etc.”
I untangle myself from the covers and stumble across the bedroom. I find the phone and mumble, “Hello?” “Allo?” a woman’s voice --- that sounds familiar in some way, yet unknown in another --- asks. “Yes?” I ask a little cranky, a little tired. “I am calling from Rajasthan,” she says. Well good for her. “And…” I reply to Ms. Rajasthan. “I am responding to you advertisement,” she says. “My what?” I ask, wondering if I am dreaming. And if I am not dreaming, then what the hoo-hah is going on here? “Advertisement…” she repeats.
Immediately I hang-up. I have placed no such ad and I will not entertain such calls at 3:00 am. Where do I have time to sell stuff on craigslist? Surely she has the WRONG phone number. I lay back in bed. The phone rings. I let it go to voicemail. It rings again. So I let it go to voicemail again.
When it rings AGAIN. I bolt up and will on Ganesh, oh wise and wondrous remover of obstacles, rid this crank caller woman from my life. On the fifth call I yank back the blankets and huff and puff across the bedroom in the manner of an aging sorority girl. I glare at the phone, like it is Samsung’s fault that the ringing persists. Then I do something I NEVER do. I turn the damn thing off and hope that no one needs me until morning.