“Are you gonna bark all day…?”
I never thought I’d see the day where I would have to take this kind of harassment. For nearly a month now, I have been contacted repeatedly and constantly, only to be supplied with beeps, static, noise and meaningless music. Day and night, weeks, months, it has only gotten worse. Let’s sum it up:
- Scotland. After the first day there, we go to bed (sleeping bag, that is) dead tired and I get a phone call with a hidden caller ID. Answering the phone, I am served about 6 seconds of random beeps. Repeat about 5 times that night, to the point where I, half asleep, tell them through the noise, to please stop calling because they’re not getting through. I happen to know one or two people who keep their number hidden, so I figured it might be one of them, unable to get through the Scotland phone network properly.
- All through the hike, this phenomenon occurs, except in one case, where the caller shows up as a Dutch phone number: +31. Under the impression that I am dealing with a technical issue, I don’t pay much attention to the number in question. I quickly pick up the habit of refusing the call rather than answering, but am quite surprised to get a connection when my employer calls.
- Back in Belgium, I get another call before I even make it home. I answer, thinking I will get a freakishly stubborn but happy acquaintance on the line, but instead… same thing. At this point, I am under the impression that someone is indeed trying to spook me, but I can’t think of anyone who would do such a thing.
- Things calm down at this point. It’s all getting rather vague right now but I think I went days without a call. During this time, the Dutch number is spammed out of the phone’s memory, and mine.
- A few days ago, the calls pick up to a frenzy, starting with one particular night where I receive no less than 10 calls, building up to about 25 in 24 hours, and yes I did keep count. My colleague answers at one certain point, but the change in voice doesn’t seem to bother the caller: the result is the same. He later describes the sound he heard as “a calm breathing, as if someone is sleeping”. I’m beginning to consider technical failure as an option again. I also now remember the occurrence of the Dutch number again, but I can’t remember what it was and I was willing to accept it the same as the “Unknown” caller.
- Yesterday, there is another brief but intense period of calls. In between these periods, they still come but at a much lower frequency. At the exact same time, I begin receiving text messages from an unfamiliar Belgian (+32) number. Strangely, they are in English, but clearly not meant for me. Allow me to share:
- It was perfect. Miss you.
- Wanna meet again? Derek is home tonight?
- Playing hard to get or just busy?
- And another one that I deleted, that said she (assuming it’s a she) would call. Derek is not a Belgian name, suggesting that she is genuinely English speaking, despite her Belgian number. Of course I contact her back repeatedly, trying to get it through to her that she’s got the wrong number. Voicemail is the furthest I get.
The Dutch number returns as well, with the same result. I remember to save it this time.
The Belgian number eventually calls, and again I only get noise.
Things have relatively calmed down at this moment. My girlfriend, who was with me yesterday, answered one time and I fell for the trick of them using different numbers, but otherwise I have always refused the calls, costing the caller money.
Recently, I’ve become convinced that this is, in fact, a flesh and blood human trying to impress me. 3 different numbers from different nationalities can’t be a coincidence, not to mention the timing and frequency. But… Today, I’ve begun doubting that once again.
The only thing consistent through all this is the randomness. The messages in my voicemail are different each and every time, and the “caller” succeeds in not letting his voice be heard even one single time. Someone emotionally unstable enough to put himself through this would have fucked up by now, especially when faced with surprises like my colleague or girlfriend picking up. He would have become frustrated by the times I rejected the call, close to a hundred times by now, costing him money each and every single time. The text messages, although they would have been quite effective in tearing my girlfriend and myself apart if things went differently, actually seem genuine in their casual phrasing. She did indeed only call once.
Either this guy is a borderline psychopath, stark raving mad, or a machine. His patience is confusing and his method flawlessly annoying.
This shit is… scaring me. Every time I feel my cell phone vibrate in my pocket, I pray it won’t start that same jingle again, telling me someone is calling me, to see that it’s that same unknown number once more. That faceless, silent threat. I lock my door at night for him and him alone, laying awake in fear of him. Even during quiet periods, I carry the pressure with me. At work, with my friends. I don’t see my girlfriend the same way anymore, because this might be her ex I’m dealing with. I can’t sleep, I can’t eat.
And if you believe any of that shit, you don’t know me very well.
Seriously though. Whatever this little fucker’s goal is, he’s headed in the wrong direction. So far this series of attention-seeking masturbation has lead to nothing but curiosity, mild annoyance, and a running joke among my co-workers. I have to check in the morning just how many times I pushed that same red button because I’ve learned to do it in my sleep.
Annoying? Yes, very.
Frustrating? Scary? Intimidating? Eat shit.
Yes, I am using marking now to divide subjects. Facebook tends to ignore paragraphs no matter how far I put them apart.
Movie review time! I went over to the DVD store last night and this is what I got.
Funny, but surprisingly hardcore. It’s not typical for a Will Smith movie to have the bad guy dismembered and killed with a fire axe. That in itself makes this movie quite awesome.
Surprisingly mature. Yes, it’s still Jim Carrey and I suppose it would still count as a comedy, but the subject is one that shouldn’t be taken lightly, though perhaps that’s just me. I could relate to the theme quite well because I’ve gone through a similar thing a long time ago, where I decided to stop making excuses and grasp opportunities when they come along. And just like Jimmy there, I’ve become quite extreme about this, jumping on whatever presents itself even when it really doesn’t seem like such a good idea– the Scotland hike is the perfect example of this; I still haven’t fully paid back my debts.
The conclusion is an obvious one: Live life to the fullest but keep your decisions rational. I personally take the latter with a grain of salt.
Acting was mediocre at best, and the rest I just didn’t pay attention to. It’s a feel-good movie, that happens to have a very valid point. Glad I saw it.
Waltz with Bashir
Since I suck at movie reviews, here’s a guest appearance of Rotten Tomatoes:
Synopsis: One night at a bar, an old friend tells director Ari about a recurring nightmare in which he is chased by 26 vicious dogs. Every night, the same number of beasts. The two men conclude that there’s a connection to their Israeli Army mission in the first Lebanon War of the early eighties. Ari is surprised that he can’t remember a thing anymore about that period of his life. Intrigued by this riddle, he decides to meet and interview old friends and comrades around the world. He needs to discover the truth about that time and about himself. As Ari delves deeper and deeper into the mystery, his memory begins to creep up in surreal images …
Consensus: A wholly innovative, original, and vital history lesson, with pioneering animation, Waltz With Bashir delivers its message about the Middle East in a mesmerizing fashion.
Viewer Review: Complex, challenging and at times difficult to watch, Waltz With Bashir is nevertheless wholly unique, unquestionably powerful and, ultimately, a devastating indictment of war and its effects on its victims and its participants.
So yeah. While my girlfriend had fallen asleep, I stared at the screen with growing eyes. While the movie was animated, the screenplay was so striking that it became strikingly obvious that the movie should not have been made any other way.
The story is made up of a series of memoirs of Ari’s friends and colleagues. Each narrates his own version of the facts, and with each separate story, the pain and terror is driven deeper inside your chest. The stories are told with the most casual of voices, telling a gruesome story while the images, usually made up of no more than two colors, play it out as if there would be any doubt about the sheer goddamn horror these people went through. As if you still want to actually see what you were just told.
Imagine this: A squad leader reports to his superior, who is watching German porn in a “confiscated” mansion. There had been an increasing number of car bomb attacks on border guard posts and there had been reports that it was to happen again that night. A white mercedes was to attack the post that his squad would be stationed at, that night.
“So if you see a white mercedes…”
“…What…? Just shoot?”
“Do I have to explain it to you?”
Imagine how long that night must have been for those boys. Sitting on either side of the road, watching the road at point blank range. And then, an ice cream van shows up. Playing its merry tune, adding to the surrealism of the situation. Whether it was a mercedes had become impossible to make out, but it sure as fuck was a white one.
What would you do? With your finger on the trigger of an MAG, which would tear through the van and anything inside. Let it pass, meters away from you? Shoot and be sure to live? I honestly don’t know.
The blind fear, tragedy and insanity war brings, has rarely been put onto a screen as truthfully as in Waltz with Bashir. Ending with the massacre inside the Palestinian refugee camp that authorities turned a blind eye to, the movie depicts the naked facts as truthfully as they occurred.
Because make no mistake: While the facts may be off, the offered situations are true, word for word. To emphasize this, the movie ends with real footage of the widows and mothers that were left to live, and the men, women and children, that were not.