The phone rang this morning. At 6:12 am. Six. Twelve. I still had over an hour left to sleep. Who in the bloody world could be calling me at 6:12 in the damned morning?
I grope for the phone on the nightstand, don't recognize the number, and growl in a perfect imitation of head-spinning Linda Blair, "What?" Ozzy must have sensed trouble in my tone because he raised his head, took one look, jumped off the bed and left the room.
I make no excuses. If someone is crazy enough to call me this early, they're just asking for the attitude.
My head fills with a stream of Italian that I think was a serious scolding. I understand some Italian, but I couldn't keep up with this tirade. The voice sounded elderly, like a granny. I was still half asleep, and being yelled at in a foreign language was so surreal, I actually pulled the phone away from my ear and looked at the little screen. Yeah, it was an actual call. Nope, still didn't recognize the name or the area code. I mumble sorry, wrong number and hang up.
Rolling over, I snuggle down under the duvet and was just beginning to float away, when holy crap the frigging phone jolts me awake again. I make a mental note to move the phone out of my bedroom, then in blindly stretching for the receiver, I knock it off the cradle and it wedges between the bed frame and the nightstand. Cursing, I hang over the edge of the mattress and try to slip my fingers into the narrow opening, the whole time listening to a tiny, irate voice, like an outraged Lilliputian, hissing from the phone. When I get my hand stuck and lose all patience, I lean into the space and shout, "You've got the wrong number! Hang up!"
Silence. Oh thank flaming hell.
At last, yanking my hand free, I stumble into the hallway and grab the broom out of the linen closet. With a little finagling, I manage to get the phone unwedged. I drop it back into the holder, fling the broom into the closet and get into bed. Course, now I'm all riled up, but eventually I calm down, nestle under the covers and fall asleep.
Until the phone rings.
"OH MY GOD! STOP CALLING ME!" I shout into the phone.
Silence. Then, "Wassa madda wit chu? I jussa hadda lunch. You still inna bed?" and then back to rapid-fire Italian, and an even worse harangue for apparently being such a worthless slug-a-bed.
"Lady," I say, to no avail. "Hey, Italian woman," I say louder, trying to interrupt the lecture. She doesn't even break stride. Finally I raise my voice. "Scusi!" She actually stops talking so I quickly say, "You have to stop calling. This is a wrong number. I don't know where you are, but here it's only six o'clock in the morning and you keep waking me up!"
Silence. Then, "You notta Theresa?" she accuses, like it's my fault I'm not Theresa.
I flop back onto my pillow and mutter, "No, I'ma notta Theresa."
In less than two heartbeats, she laughs, apologizes, and hangs up. I stare at the number on the phone, make a note to see what part of the country belongs to her area code, and add that note to the earlier one about moving the phone out of my bedroom.
By this time it's 6:30. I wonder if it's worth it to try getting that last hour of sleep before the alarm goes off, decide hell yeah. As I settle down, I can't help being curious about the old lady and her Theresa.
Dead to the world, I am catapulted into wakefulness when the phone rings. I look at the alarm clock. It is 7:02. I stare at the little screen on the phone as it lights up, clearly revealing the number of my nemesis.
I lift the receiver, take a weary breath and say, "Itsa me, Notta Theresa."
We have a short, garbled conversation, where I finally convince her the number she's calling is wrong, and suggest that maybe she should get someone to help her dial the real Theresa.
No going back to bed now, I get up, unplug the phone and move it to the den, on the other side of the house. Then I use my call blocking feature. And lastly, I look up the area code.
No wonder she was cranky that Theresa was still in bed when she called. Nonna was in New Jersey...