Katie, Part 6

29 Sep

Anyway. I think I was talking about asshole Katie’s asshole boyfriend.

He was on the phone again. My head felt thick with sleep. The numbers on my clock read 4:02 in that hateful, fuck-you way that digital clocks have in the early morning.

“Who is this?” I asked. This is always a stupid question.

“I’m Omega.”


“I end things.”


“You stay away from Katie. I’ll kill you. I know where you live. I’ll eat your fucking liver.”

He had a heavy voice, mouth-breathing and very punchable. In the background, I could hear the sounds of the unending party. Also I could hear female laughter, airy and vicious. It sounded like Katie. I pressed the end call button on my phone. It rang again. I pulled out the battery and fell to sleep.

In the morning, I checked my messages. There were several, progressively longer, drunker, and more rambling. Music and voices filled the background, as did laughter. I called Katie. She didn’t answer. Neither did Kevin or Anna when I called them. I left messages with each. That evening, Omega called again. He called the next night and the night after that. Eventually I faced a choice: either change my number or call the police. Typically, I dislike asking armed strangers for help, but changing my number felt like surrender. I called the police.

Unless you’re calling 911, when you call a police department, you end up talking to a recording. Imagine calling the customer service line of a company whose customers are legally compelled to pay them, even if they never buy anything. Eventually, after three or four minutes of menus, you can get to the menu for harassing phone calls. If you select the menu option for phone calls involving death threats, they’ll send a cruiser to your house to take a report.

A uniformed officer showed up to my house around 8 a.m. I greeted her and invited her inside, acutely conscious of how my house and I seemed. She smiled impersonally and took two half-steps forward, standing on the threshold without actually entering. Our house was cluttered and smelled faintly of cat. My clothes were rumpled and smelled faintly of cheap wine (I hadn’t been able to get back to sleep after the last call from Omega, and wine helps to pass the time). At the time, I couldn’t understand why the cop didn’t come inside and sit down, but in retrospect it’s probably because she didn’t want to see anything that she’d have to arrest me for. Not that I kept any contraband in the living room, but ours was the sort of neighborhood that saw cops standing on porches fairly regularly. Sometimes indigents wandered up and down our street, trespassing on porches in order to pick tobacco from ashtrays so they could roll their own cigarettes later. Sometimes our neighbors smoked lots and lots of marijuana. She started taking a report, but she stopped as soon as I told her that the number was a Dayton number and I didn’t know conclusively who it belonged to. In order for a report to matter, she said, there needed to be a suspect. I needed to know whose phone had called me.

I called the Dayton police. They did not seem happy to hear from me. They politely suggested that their problems and my problems did not intersect.

Frustrated, I rode my bike downtown to CPD headquarters. They did not seem happy to hear from me either, but they let me file a report. Given the circumstances, it felt like an accomplishment.

Four days passed. I started leaving the battery in my phone again when I went to sleep. This was a mistake. The next night, another early morning phone call awakened me with moist and flaccid threats, but with one difference. This call came from Katie’s phone.


Leave a Reply


  1. Mathias

    September 29, 2010 at 12:02 pm

    The plot fucking thickens. Can’t wait to see where this is going! What could she have to gain by fooling around with you and then getting some idiot to harass you?

  2. Dan

    September 29, 2010 at 2:04 pm

    I was never clear on that. Prevailing hypotheses suggest that either she thought the whole thing was fun or that she was doing it to reinforce her relationship with her boyfriend. Either way, it was pretty irritating.