Thursday night, the phone rang. I went to answer it, but it stopped before I got there. Then started ringing again. I answered "Hello, Dominic speaking" – my usual greeting only because I'm usually mistaken for somebody else (with startling frequency).
The caller was a man who sounded as if he were in his late forties. He quickly gave his name, which I sha'n't repeat, and explained that he didn't want me to be worried by his call. He was trying to phone a woman, he said, who may have put a "block" on his calls. He seemed to think that the block may have made his calls transfer to other people.
He stressed that I needn't be worried about the reasons for the block. In fact, he stressed it a little too much, to the point where I started to be worried. I guess his intentions were quite reasonable; he figured he'd be calling a number of times, and that I'd be alarmed if I received that number of wrong-number calls.
He called again a couple of days later. Once I answered, I pretty quickly recognized his voice, and the call ended politely. But just tonight he called again, and this time when I answered he immediately hung up. That presents a number of questions:
Is he dialing the same number each time? If so, is it my number? And does he expect to be connected to a different line? — is that why he keeps trying? And why hang up when I answer if he's explained himself already?
The thing is, I think I understand that he might be so desperate as to continue calling whatever number he has, even after the woman he's seeking has decided to get a block placed on his calls. I don't identify with that, or think it's OK - but I'm happy to reserve judgement on that front. However if he's calling my home phone number every time and expecting to somehow reach her, that's just crazy. The phone exchange isn't a lottery.
Next time he calls I think I'll ask. And if it turns out to be my number, I'll ask him to stop. More news, as it happens, although the whole thing reminds me of Dimitri.