the first time he called my phone, lil' jamie was positive i was sheena - his homie brandon's girlfriend. i assured him i wasn't, but he was positive that i knew him and was acting "all funny." after confirming that he wasn't one of my students playing a prank, i became relatively certain that he was some random jerk ... playing a prank. i hung up on lil' jamie.
he called back. i didn't answer.
he called back again. i didn't answer.
on the third call-back, my roomie took the phone. turns out lil' jamie's intentions were true - he really WAS trying to reach someone and thought for sure he had the right number. the number of the guy on whose couch he'd slept a couple days prior, the number of the guy to whose house he'd arrived in a four-wheeler. my roomie made it clear such was not the case. "we live in midtown," she said. the call ended with a few laughs.
perhaps two minutes later, lil' jamie called back. i asked for him by name. "is this lil' jamie?" he laughed nervously. "how'd you know my name?" i reminded him that he'd just called and that his name was quite memorable. i suggested he release a hit song and cash in on his new notoriety. he laughed again, this time a lot more relaxed.
we talked. he told me that there was, indeed, a "big jamie" - his dad, who was 43. lil' jamie was 25. he was distraught about brandon (the homie he was attempting to call when he reached me) giving him the wrong number a couple days prior. i checked the date. "brandon gave you this number on 420! he was high!" i could hear the grin in lil' jamie's voice. he was pleased i'd made that connection. i knew, in that moment, that if i extended the conversation for another 3-4 minutes, this kid would be inviting himself to my house for a smoke and herbal-induced philosophical ramblings. he was already crashing on my futon in his mind. i could hear it in his voice.
i cut the conversation short, wishing him luck in finding brandon's real number. i couldn't help but smile when i hung up.
i love lil' jamie.
he represents, for me, the hope that there's still some humanity floating around in all this presumptuous digital precision and social-networking-site-application-based friendship. there are still some people in the world who will talk to you on the phone even if they don't know you, and find your house at 10 pm on a thursday night to hang out if you let them. some people who will tell you their story.
this glass of wine is for you, my friend - may you always find a couch to cruise and a connection to miss, so that you might try to connect again. and again.