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Velcro Part Four: Scammable

Velcro Part Four: Scammable

I've cleaned up the salad-making mess and am sitting on the sofa with my dog wedged against me, snoring; it's past our bedtime but there's no sleep in me. I'm not sure what to do with time I really don't want to spend awake. I could start my pre-bed routine that has grown to an hour long for reasons that aren't clear, except aging takes up more time before bed. Before all that though, I'm hoping my dad’s wife texts back soon, this evening, because the whole thing has me riled up. Sean is also waiting, "If this is not your scammer Aunt I’m going to feel like the biggest asshole. But if it is, this is the most exciting thing that's happened to me in months."

I start laughing. It is kind of fun, and funny. I text back a question-statement, "The I don’t have a credit card is interesting. But my cousin can pay?" and another text thought, "Do you have a cousin who can pay for your private lessons stuff?

"I most certainly do not. Oh my God I am dying. Also, I am so easily scammable. Like she called back twice, we were chitchatting. I was asking her about her car accident. Initially she was going to come to class but then when it was a 4th floor walk up, that’s when she wanted privates. Which all of that now feels like a set up." The con-artist video had Sean in a bit of a gumshoe mindset. I thought about her text. Was it the fourth floor walk-up to the studio that prevented this woman from attending a class in-person? That makes sense and could still mean it's not Aunt Strigga. "I kinda want to call the number with my number blocked because I would know the voice." I text Sean back.

Hearing Aunt Strigga in the news segment, reminded me of her particular voice that sounds like a deliberate Marlon Brando Godfather impersonation replete with very little mouth movement, but no cat to stroke. Aunt Strigga speaks as though inconsequential events have the immediacy of important decisions to affect ones life, forever, and she holds the key to the various choices and outcomes. Striggy has always sounded like that. In the video, hearing her voice again for the first time in a long while, my head dropped down to the quirk, "Oh right, there's that too."

The scamming report switches to an actual real music producer in her real music producer’s office that is suspiciously bland. No personal items, no concert posters, no awards on a shelf. Hmmm. She's given a CD to play of the tone-deaf television producer so we can revisit the bad singing, yet again. This provides an official confirmation she's not a great singer. It's the fairness doctrinesque part of the reporting. After confirmation of the bad singing, the show switches to Aunt Strigga seated at what looks like a diner. I’m just going to say this: if you’re meeting with someone who’s promising to launch your career to stardom, the menu prices should reflect the goals. This is where it gets cringier. Aunt Strigga starts making claims to famous people, getting close to an interesting tidbit and then stopping with, "But that's another story." She even has a pile of glossy black and white photos of the people she's mentioning, none of which she's in, that she flops onto the table casually, one on top of another. It's done convincingly, except it's Striggy and she doesn't know any of these people. I text Sean back, "I don’t think you’re anticipating Marcy’s long lost scammer Aunt to call for yoga privates. Like, that wouldn’t be on your radar scam wise."

"It’s so crazy. Do you think she would pick up with the number blocked? The thing is she also really wants to be put in touch with you though? So then that makes me think maybe it’s not her?"

I was confused by the sentence, it didn't come through clearly from her voice texting, and the confusion creates a stress for me. If this is indeed my dad’s sister, she wanted to create a way to get in touch with me and this didn't sink in until the phrasing of wanting to be put in touch. The trying to get in touch felt weird, the wanting feels intrusive and vulnerable. With my job, it's easy to access me and that's always felt like a positive. I work with a lot of injured, stressed, and recovering-from-various-issues students. I want to be available, accessible. It didn't occur to me that it leaves an opportunity for negative outcomes, so long as the person can climb four flights of stairs, an apparent literal handicap to stalking.

Students reach out to studios to get matched with a private yoga teacher based on location, needs, style, and budget. After the details are outlined, Sean would reach out to the teacher she feels would work best. If the teacher agrees, Sean would connect the prospective teacher and possible private student, via group text. That text connection would have been the next step after I initially messaged back, "Hi. Yes." and I suddenly find it unnerving. This woman, or Aunt Striggy, was pretty close to contact. It was real, not just a hunch to toss back and forth between Sean and me. Also, it was a good question Sean asked, if the woman would answer her cell phone to a blocked number. I would not, and even though I know that about myself, I didn't put it together when asking. Unlike Aunt Strigga I did not have a good head for nefarious pursuits. I teach yoga.

(To Be Continued, Friday, March 15th, Velcro Part Five!)


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