Thursday, October 14, 2010

Early Morning Phone Calls

October 2003

This morning the phone rang at 7:15, two hours too early for my household. Whoever it was didn't say anything and didn't say anything, so I tried to hang up but I'd forgotten to open my eyes and consequently couldn't find the phone cradle, so I kept hitting the receiver on the bedside table, but the receiver turned into my right shoe which I had just taken off and was using to bang on the table in front of me at the U.N.

A few minutes later I awoke enough to realize that I'd forgotten to say anything into the phone, which is probably why the caller didn't say anything. Usually when the phone wakes me up, I can at least remember I'm supposed to say something into it, even when I can't remember what the word is. Occasionally I get sight and sound backwards and think that the ringing noise is the light from the bedside lamp, which has somehow turned itself on, so I reach over, fumble for the switch and turn it off, which makes it come on. Then the world is too strange and frightening for me so I hide under the covers and whimper until it starts behaving properly again.

Often the early caller is the woman who thinks I'm Lisa, whose number is very similar to mine. The woman calls every time school is cancelled to wake Lisa up to tell her, I suppose, the good news that she can sleep in. Sometimes it doesn't occur to me that I'm not Lisa, so I just mumble "Thank you" into the phone and hang up.

When Mother woke me up with an early phone call, we talked for a few minutes, and then as soon as I hung up, Dad called me back.

"Pam?" he said in his something's-wrong-but-I'm-handling-it voice.

"I'm fine, Dad," I said. "Tell Mother I'm not on drugs and haven't had a stroke."

"Okay," he said. "You have a good day."

Once the caller was a student calling at seven in the morning to ask me about a comma in an essay that wasn't due for another week. She kept reading the sentence to me and asking, "Where should I put the comma?" and to my long-term regret I wasn't even thinking clearly enough to come up with the rude answer to the question.

Do not call before 9 a.m. I cannot be held responsible for anything I may or may not say.

Click to learn more about Asperger's and disorientation after sleeping.

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