It was a string of numbers that looked like they could belong to someone I know or something I was expecting––maybe I’d finally won that all expenses paid cruise. Either way, I didn’t answer and I watched the phone until it stopped vibrating in the same way people suffocating the bedridden with pillows watch the limbs flail until they mercifully fall limp. In the Online message boards dedicated to strange and unknown numbers I found that this one had been vibrating the phones of many others. A few said that these phantom digits belonged to a mouth breather who hung up only after their heady silence had reached peak creepiness. Even more said that the person on the other end claimed to be from Scotia Bank, CIBC or RBC and were conducting surveys that asked personal financial questions but hung up when asked if they could identify themselves. Impostors was the consensus .
I thought about fakes and phonies––the teenager from Florida who posed as an OB/GYN for a month without hospital staff knowing; those knock-off Gucci leather gloves a friend had bought in Chinatown and then lost without a care; how I pretend to be up to date on world’s happenings by simply watching The Daily Show––my phone began to shake. Those same eleven numbers. I whispered “fuck off” into the pillow as I watched the legs kick.