And perhaps too shocked that he's NOW called me to discuss this further, I stammer just a little bit - my brain too busy compiling the list I'm now meant to enumerate as sensitively as I can without turning the poor man into a shut-in. He asks to speak to the Saggable Boss as if on the pretext of a sales call, I'm exasperated, "Kentucky, why the hell are you asking for my boss, you KNOW you're never going to talk to him."
There's a very brief silence after which he doggedly repeats the request, still polite. I'm baffled at this new gambit, was this his version of a Do Over? "Kentucky, STOP pretending, it's ME, I know it's YOU. Are you off your head??"
The voice coughs, "I'm sorry, this ISN'T Kentucky." while still very much sounding like him. I groan, "Grrrr, Kentucky what's wrong with you, are you daft? Seriously you want to talk about this NOW, like THIS??"
The voice is incredulous but starts to rumble with a low and rather sexy laugh, "I did? My God, I've really got to get your name now -" I interrupt him rudely determined to put an end to the silly game when the Caller ID finally begins to make sense and I realize Mr. X is from a completely different venue OTHER than Kentucky's.
The room begins to tilt and I'm 100% sure my face is throbbingly red. It certainly felt that way as I held my poor little head in my hands. I gasp so loudly, I almost choke as I state the obvious. "OH MY GOD. You're NOT Kentucky!"
I feel like hyperventilating, did I really just accuse a Stranger of having just offered to have me ride him like a race horse in a derby??? I'm suddenly speechless for a moment, the voice takes this as his cue, "That's what I was trying to tell you all this time, I'm NOT Kentucky whatsisface, I'm Mr. X from the Opera House."
I'm full of contrition at this point and cannot apologize enough. He could be my grandfather's age if I ever met mine which I didn't, or maybe he wore a bow tie that just unraveled itself in the shame of what I'd just said. He sounded young but that doesn't mean anything.
"I seriously am SO SO sorry," I gush, hoping he'd forgotten my little equestrian oops, "I just saw the Caller ID, and maybe it was me confusing the venues, or being hungry, I'm just SOOOOOO sorrry. You sounded like this other guy, my bad. Just completely my bad." then in an attempt to get the conversation back to business," So really, what are you offering now?"
What? I shake my head, Men. The slightest hint of anything getting mounted and off they go. "But I BE-LIEVE you," I stress for emphasis. "I know you're not him, it was my mistake, really - no need to prove it. At all. I thought you were this venue but it turns out you're THAT venue." I ahem and put my business voice on, "Besides, I clear all the events we purchase so what's with the Opera then?"
Mr. X appears to haven't heard a word, "Nah, I've got to distinguish myself somehow," then scoffing, "I don't want to just be lumped together with this Kentucky person, I really, really am unique you know." I roll my eyes at this, "I'm sure you are, and your mother will attest to that, it was just a momentary aural mistake. I must've misheard you."
"O-RAL???," he repeats then absolutely relishes correcting me, "I don't think there are mistakes when there's oral." Kill me now, I think as I have visions of myself digging my own grave. "NO, you know that's NOT what I meant, OMG, you're from the Opera for crying out loud, aren't you people supposed to be classy?" I try desperately to remind him.
I am aghast as the whole exchange becomes even more absurd, I breathe deeply, "Look, the more I hear your voice, the more you DON'T sound like Kentucky, okay? In fact, if I think about it, you sound more like that Gigolo guy with the Spaghetti Tatts." The words flew out of my mouth like friendly fire now on its way back to explode in one colossal verbal cluster fuck right at the target painted on my face. Shit, shitty, shit shit. Even if he did really sound more like Gigolo Guy.
Mr. X swoops on this with undeniable pleasure, "Gigolo? You hired a gigolo!??" My mouth drops open at the allegation, "I certainly DID NOT!" I likely would but I can't afford a decent one to be honest.
I blast through him trying to contain his chuckling, "It's a TV show, hello? About Gigolos, like they have this one who's, you know, really aggressive with a tatt that looks like spilled spaghetti, but seriously, aren't you supposed to be selling me something??"
"Of course, it's my real name," I refuse to entertain the question further, "Well, is he any good? Like what's so special about him?" Mr. X is candid enough to admit he hadn't seen the Maestro himself. I ask him how he expects me to patronize the talent if he can't vouch for it. "Why? You go to the opera?, "he quizzes as if he finds the idea of my going quite preposterous.
Now this is really going to blow up into an argument. "You think I can't go to the opera?, " I hiss, "Because I happened to think you were someone else?" Mr. X appears to ponder for half a minute, "No, I'm just curious if you have a partner or someone to take you to the opera, you know - a date." Ah, and here we are, at the apex where all subtlety is but a distant memory.
"Oh, not at all," Mr. X recovers. "I just wondered if you'd end up taking this Kentucky person. I'm determined to prove it to you, do you have Face Crack on?"
I'm non-plussed. "Face Crack?," I repeat dumbly. Once I'd joked with Kentucky that my Exes were mostly insane and how I'd suspected they'd found me from having my number listed as an after-care support line on the Asylum Release Form. Maybe it was true? I was a Beacon for the Crazy. Blinking madly through the darkest night.
"Yes, Face Crack." Mr. X has now taken to speaking to me like I was a slow witted child. I triumphantly tell him it's blocked off at work, pleased at the thought of foiling him.
"But you have it on your phone, don't you?," he counters quickly. I open my mouth to deny this but can't. Almost every phone nowadays is loaded with Face Crack, let no addict be spared. Mr. X was no exception. "Tell you what, I'll give you my last name and you friend me, okay?" It's more an order than a gentle request.
Then out of the blue, "Wait did you say your name was..are you Swedish," Mr. X asks and immediately follows it with a staggering amount of Swedish words.
"Hmm, like a cute little Japanese doll. I could probably put you in my pocket," he muses then, "besides I know you're not Swedish." This rankles. How does he know and why would he even ask if he already did. And why do I even care for that matter? "Yeah, I knew cos if you were, you'd totally slap me," he explains,"- I just told you something Really Dirty in Swedish."
"WHY," I practically beg him, "would you even say anything dirty in any language to a strange woman, and NO, I am NOT Japanese. Not everyone who's Asian is you know."
Mr. X ignores my vexed tone and continues observationally, "You weren't born here? Great accent!" I almost spit, "You mean, NO accent. Why where are YOU from? I reckon not from here." I regret asking it the minute I did. "Minnesotta," he replies proudly. Oh great, the Frozen Tundra. Land of the Long Lost Capricorn.
"So what's your real name then, Gunther, Thor, Gunner, Gustav, Johann?" I dig at him. Mr. X is unaffected by my jeering and informs me that his name is as he said, "Now, how will I know it's you who's trying to friend me?," he asks. I'm perplexed, "Why, precisely how many people friend you on Face Crack?" then it dawns on me, "OMG, you're one of those guys who use it like it's aka Match.com aren't you? Predictable, really. You were better off when I was mistaking you for Kentucky."
And I'm supposed to feel better for that? The Sewer was European, look how that turned out thanks very much. I'm about to bite back with a smart little retort when I realize this has been going on for a full twenty minutes. I panic, "It's been 20 minutes!!!"
"I know," Mr. X sighs proudly, "time does fly when you're in good company."
My eyes narrow at this, "What are you, made of Helium? I've GOT to GO!! I can't be on the phone identifying you like you're a dead body. Go to CSI or something. Sorry, really." I am rushing off the phone as I hear Mr. X yelling out a reminder to Face Crack him.
I'm so irritated at this point that I grit out my name when my phone rings again, this time it actually is Kentucky reminding me about tickets and being very professional. Still, he notices I'm on edge. "What's up with you? You ok?," he asks with typically sharp Cancerian mood perception.
"Oh, it's nothing. Some guy called, I thought he was you. It was like talking to Bizarro." I confessed rather deflated from the day's weirdness. "Really?," Kentucky seems awed at the idea of a second him floating around, "I'd love to hear what he sounds like. You should've recorded him."
Recorded? "Did you say recorded? I can't record people here. That's illegal.," I'm confused, did I hear him right? I blink, "Wait, can YOU record people?"
"Sure can," Kentucky announces, "do it all the time. Specially the interesting conversations." I can hear him smiling all the way through the line. "AND? Have you recorded me?," I drill him. "Course not. I'd never do that to you, your'e too sweet," he reassures me. We hung up and I am left even more stunned than when I started talking to Mr. X.
I step out of the office to get a coffee, and a badly needed break deciding while I'm at it to get Mr. X's profile up and over with on my supah phone. I'm gingerly sipping my coffee and almost have it go up my nose as his picture pulls up.
Mr. X, while sounding like Kentucky, bears a striking resemblance to B. Holy Hades. Really?
Oh Universe, you have such a sick sense of humor.