when giving out your number goes wrong

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I met Rick James almost 4 years ago.

It was Halloween of 2009, and my girls and I had plans to hit up the parade in the Village. I was going as roller girl that year and couldn’t wait to skate around NYC. Unfortunately, we took a little too long getting into our costumes and pre-gaming, so by the time we made it over the bridge we realized there was no way we were going to make the parade.  Halloween in NYC is a pretty big deal, so it wasn’t hard for us to find ourselves a plan B – the nearest bar.

As we walked into the bar – or in my case rolled – we saw him.  The head full of long beaded braids, silver sunglasses, and shiny gold jacket made him easy to recognize.

It was Rick James.

We all immediately yelled:

“I’m RICK JAMES BITCH!” 

 Followed by…

“What did the five fingers say to the face?!….SLAAAAP” 

“F-YO’ COUCH!”

“SHOW CHARLAY MURPHY YO’ TITAYS”

 and…

“UNITYYYYY”

Oh yes, Dave Chappelle would have been so proud.

After taking a few pictures with us, Rick decided to head to another bar for the night, so we all said goodbye, threw out a few more Chappelle jokes and told him to have a good night. The bar was pretty dead, so after finishing our drinks, we decided to head to another location as well.

We decided on a bar next door which, unfortunately for me, was down a pretty steep flight of stairs.  In fact, the bouncer almost didn’t let me in for liability reasons, but after showing him how skilled I am on my stoppers, he caved.

As soon as we get inside we hear a very familiar voice yell out “ROLLA GURRRLLL”

It was Rick James.

We were pretty much stuck with him from then on. Every where we turned…he was there. Honestly, we were tipsy enough by then that we didn’t care. He asked me for my number, but I said no. Then he asked me if I would at least take his number. I said fine, and put it in my phone (with no intentions of using it…or even saving it for that matter). After I put the numbers in my phone he said “wait..I think that’s my number. Can you call it to make sure?” I was tipsy enough to fall for it, but as soon as I hit ‘call’ I realized what happened.

Rick James, you tricky bastard.

He called me at 4am that morning and left a voicemail that my friends and I STILL laugh about to this day. It went something like this:

ROLLA GURRRL!!! It’s JEROOOOOME!  RICK JAMES! 

They played Rick James and you was GYOONE BAYBAH!

I’m heading back to Cali tomorrow and I wanna see you! Tell me where you are and I’ll come pick you up. Where ever you are, I’ll come get you. I need to see you toNIGHT cause tomorrow is TOO far!  

Callmecallmecallmecallme!!!

About a year and a half later, I was sitting at my desk when my cell phone rings. It was a number I didn’t recognize, but since it wasn’t blocked I picked up.

Big Mistake.

Me: Hello?
Caller: Is this Amber?
Me: Yes. Who is this?
Caller: Hey! It’s JERROOOOME!! RICK JAAMES! This is Roller Girl?
I thought to myself, Oh Sweet Jesus, you have GOT to be kidding me….
Jerome: Hey what are you doing?
Me: I’m at work
Jerome: Oh, OK, well I’m in NY and I wanted to see what you were up to. Call me when you get out and maybe we can meet up!
Me: yeah…ok. I have to go.
Jerome: OK, call me later! ROLLA GUUURLLL!!! 

I hit the end button and never called him.

A year later, I’m sitting at that same desk when the phone rings from an unknown California number – again. This time I let it go to voicemail. A few minutes later,  I have this message in my inbox:

Hey Amber…? I met you on Halloween.  I was RICK JAMES BITCH!  I WAS RICH BITCH! And you were a roller skater as I believe.  Anyway, I’m back into New York City, actually I’m in Brooklyn, and I ran across your number.  So hopefully you remember me. At any rate, I remember you. So, phone tag…you’re it!

Jerome. Rick James. 415-XXX-XXXX.  

Give me a call! Want to see if you wanted to have a drink, or get together.  Take care, bye.

I had no intentions of calling this man back. I did not want to grab a drink or get together in any way.  And to be quite honest, I was really curious to see how long he’d  keep this up. Would I get a call from him every time he was in NY? Will he constantly refer to me as ROLLA GURRL and to himself as ‘Rick James, the guy you met on Halloween’ even though the Halloween I actually met him was ages ago? My friend suggested telling him I moved to Colorado, but since he’s only averaging one phone call every year or so, I think I’ll leave it alone. It’s been almost a year and I haven’t heard from him again, but only time will tell!

Oh Rick James.

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