A few minutes ago, I glanced over at my phone and saw that I had gotten a couple of text messages. I tapped on my inbox and saw that I had received both messages at the exact same time from two different phone numbers, neither of which are in my phone book. Just random digits.
I tapped on the first one. It simply said, "Like."
Then I tapped on the second one: "Love."
Weird. Really weird. The likelihood of receiving two anonymous texts from two different numbers with similar messages has got to be slim.
I sat up straight in my chair. It was time to play detective.
I'm always down for a good mystery. Always. I'm not a conspiracy nut, really. I'm just a big fan of having something odd happen, as long as it's harmless. I seek it out.
There's a huge book store in New York called The Strand, which boasts an inventory of "18 miles of new, used and rare books." When I was 18 or 19, I walked into the deepest darkest corners of the store on the off chance that I might find a creepy old tome hidden behind some Sue Graftons. No luck. Bummer.
It's exciting, though. It's fun to think that that there's something taking place that relates to you, but you're not privy to all of the information. I love the idea of Urban Legends that have some basis in reality. Fascinating. Why couldn't there be a magical book laying flat on a low shelf in a dark basement corner of a bookstore? I've seen that shit in movies MANY times. It happens!
One of the biggest events of modern history to be enshrouded in mystery was the JFK assassination. Thousands of people believe and investigate numerous theories as to how and why he was killed, as well as who did it, and whether or not the government was involved. There's even a theory which suggests that after he died, his body was taken, and his wounds were modified to make it appear as if he were shot from a particular angle. Why? Well who knows. We'll find out the truth in 2017 when the documents regarding the event are released.
I should say, before I get back to the mystery of the friendly texts, that I'm no stranger to high stakes intrigue.
About four years ago, I was leaving a class at Rutgers with my messenger bag over my shoulder. It held a few notebooks, a pair of headphones, and my Sony PSP (one of the most advanced handheld gaming systems the world has ever known [it kind of sucks]). I walked to my parking space, and put my bag on top of my car while fumbling with my keys. Ten minutes later, I pulled into my driveway and realized I had driven home with my bag on the roof of the car.
I got out of the car, but obviously, the bag wasn't there anymore. I quickly drove back to Rutgers, and looked around my parking spot. No luck. I then took the same route home as I had earlier, desperately looking for my bag. It was gone. Maybe for good.
The next day I was sitting in one of my classes which took place in a large lecture hall. About ten minutes into the lesson, the professor was interrupted by a student who addressed the room and held up a bag. My bag. He said he had found it on the side of the road the previous night, and based on a schedule inside one of the notebooks, he figured out that the owner must be in the room. Excited, I claimed the bag, thanked the guy, and he left. I walked back to my seat and checked the bags contents.
As I expected. the PSP was gone. Being that I had expected to lose everything however, I was pretty fine with it. Especially considering the PSP kind of sucks (as I mentioned).
So there I was sitting in class with my stuff again, talking to a friend about how lucky it was that the guy thought to check for a schedule, and how it was cool that he actually bothered to do a decent thing such as bring the bag back to it's owner. I assumed that he wasn't the one to steal the PSP, based on how helpful he was, and that someone else probably found the bag first. Realizing that, I said this:
And seriously, I actually said this. Honestly. I swear. Here's what I said:
"Y'know, it's weird, but how cool would it be if there was a message scrawled on a page of one of my notebooks, like an old detective story."
My friend basically rolled her eyes at my geekiness. So I just sat there. But then my curiosity got the better of me, and like how I actually looked for an old cursed book in The Strand, I childishly checked my notebook for a secret message.
And I found one.
As of when I'm writing this, I can't post the proof, but rest assured that I'll update this post TONIGHT with a picture of the message.
But anyway, what I found was a message lightly written in pencil on the last page of a marble notebook. It was a phone number with the instructions to "Coll Pedro" written beneath it.
I told you I'd give you proof. I just took a picture of the page and the message, but I scribbled out the guy's address and phone number:
I was stunned. And really fucking excited. This was exactly what I was hoping for.
So obviously I pretended I didn't care for a couple of days. Because as much as it was thrilling, it was also kind of scary.
Eventually, my curiosity go the better of me, and I called the number. Pedro answered. I explained that I was the guy who had lost the bag. I said I got his message.
He told me he had something that belonged to me.
Like a fucking film noir! Awesome/terrifying!
He asked me if I knew what it was. Also scary.
I said it was a Sony PSP, and he confirmed that was what he had, he just needed to verify that I was the owner.
Now I realize that this whole thing doesn't make any goddamn sense, but I hope the insanity of this story is itself proof that the tale I'm telling is true. Truth is stranger than fiction.
I know that it's illogical that somebody should find a bag, take the expensive gadget out, leave a scrawled message, and go. How would he know the bag would ever get back to me? How would he know that somebody else would find the bag and be smart enough to check for a schedule? How would he know that same person would also be decent enough to go looking for it's owner? Finally, how would he know the owner would be a goofy man-child who goes looking for secret messages?
There are so many variables at play there that you can't truly expect those events to play out properly. It's incredible.
But fortunately they played out EXACTLY right for me to be on the phone, getting quizzed about what he had in his possession. This means that he also thought it likely that someone would find a bag and go looking for secret messages and phone numbers, and care enough to call. Mind you, the message in the book said nothing about recovering a lost item. It merely said to "coll" Pedro! Very bizarre.
But I passed the test. He gave me his address and told me when I could come by to pick it up. I questioned whether or not it was worth it. His house wasn't exactly in a bad neighborhood, but it was certainly a strange enough situation that I was considering letting him keep it. After all, I had already thought it to be gone forever.
Then I realized I was only half way through Crash Bandicoot. I grabbed my coat and ran out the door.
(That's a joke, I actually talked about it with a friend who said he'd come with me. Curiosity got the better of me once again so we went.)
I called Pedro from outside his house, and he told me to come right in.
I said I was running late for a class, and so I wasn't coming in. Instead asked if he could meet us outside. A couple minutes later, who I can only describe as a human version of Super Mario walks out of the house, with a dirty grocery bag bunched up in his hands, which, by the way, are completely covered in white powder up to his elbows. Got the image? Mario. Short, fat, mustachioed. Arms covered in white powder. Dirty grocery bag.
He quizzes me again to confirm that I'm the owner of the bag. The odds of me being some crook who correctly guessed that he had a PSP are unreasonable, but whatever, I confirm who I am, and he hands me the dirty bag. My PSP. Great. Let me get the fuck out of here now.
He explains that he found the bag in the street, looked inside, and took the PSP because he didn't want anybody to steal it. It doesn't make much sense, but I just want to get out of there, so I thank him again, take the PSP (battery completely drained...I hope you enjoyed Crash Bandicoot, Mario!), and my buddy and I take off.
Mystery solved, although I had to wonder why that guy's arms were covered in white powder. I asked my friend what he thought, he quickly answered, "He's probably a professional gymnast. He was in great shape."
Another riddle un-riddled. And it's this experience that has made me a master detective.
So now all that's left is to reveal who those texts ("Like," "Love") were from. Well it's simple, really. They were messages accidentally copied to me intended as responses to a picture Bobby had mass texted to his friends. This is the picture:
All this bullshit because of a picture of a cat. An awesome cat, yeah, but all this crap I wrote is because of a picture of a cat. Sorry.