I woke up from a nightmare in which I had my mother as a classmate. It was one of the worst classes of my life, both in dreams and in real life.
I had a bit of a tiff with someone over the phone awhile ago. A man called and said he was from the phone company, and he wanted me to stay on the line while he checked if everything was working. He instructed me to say ‘Hello’ when he says ‘Hello.’ I followed him because I am the sort of person who has difficulty being assertive with strangers, especially strangers who are at the moment displaying their expertise in a given field of which I have no knowledge of. (This is the same reason why I always end up paying more for a piece of crap or why I am perennially dissatisfied with my haircut—because I have an inability to express what I really want in front of a salesperson, or my hairdresser, or from anyone, really.)
I don’t know if it was my paranoia or just a very active imagination, but I started feeling like I shouldn’t be doing what I was currently doing, and I should just put the phone down. After all, I had no memory of any one of us here calling up customer service to say that we had a problem with our phone, because we didn’t. I thought, what if this is all fake, what if they are using me to do illegal activities, like hacking into bank accounts, or funding a terrorist, or worse, someone is masturbating on the other line while I stupidly say ‘hello, hello’ over and over (which unfortunately has happened before!)?
So when the guy said he was done (yes, I still waited for him to finish whatever it is that he was doing, dammit!), I tentatively asked what this was all about, and if he could explain it to me. He was quite dismissive, and said some things in a very authoritative tone, which didn’t sit well with me so I eventually asked for his name and other pertinent details I can use. This is the point where he started to sound very pissed and aggressive, and told me that I shouldn’t ask for his last name because it’s against the law, that there is a labour code that violates that, and after all, what am I calling the agency for? He said, what can you do if ever I turned out to be someone I’m not? To which I got a bit scared, alright. So after a few more minutes with both of us shouting, I put the phone down and called the official number for the phone company. And they promptly informed me that there is no such thing, that it could have been a prank caller. But I was worried about whatever it is that they were doing while I was told to stay on the line, so I insisted that they make a report about it just in case something happens.
Ugh! I am so gullible sometimes! Also: why can’t I be more assertive?
I really, really dislike people.
Argument again, over dinner. All these verbal sparring.
They think I always win, but why must they keep score? They think, because I have a way with words, that I walk away unscathed. The problem is, I know how words can be a weapon. And I know how the wounds can run deep once they’ve hit their mark, how they leave scars that you carry with you for years and years.
I still don’t understand—or at least am unable to cope with—how quickly a life can turn. I don’t think I’m made for this.
Good night, M.