Rusty only continues to be more enigmatic. I still don’t really know what his deal is, and I’m to the point now where it doesn’t even seem as if it’s even worth trying to figure out anymore. Or if there really is anything worthwhile to figure out.

I dutifully continued on in silence at our resurrected Words With Friends rivalry which suddenly resumed itself in the last week of August after almost 5 weeks of no contact. I was initially content with just letting “us” continue to exist in that realm solely and really did make a novel effort to maintain that course of action (even though I was confused and had many questions)…until I got drunk at the beach over Labor Day weekend.

It was around that time that I sent him some testy texts to remind him to take his turn. He didn’t initially respond, but no worries because I doubled down by eventually following up with a selfie I took of myself and my friend Carly with the declaration: Fuck you because I look good. (Which I did.)

Surprisingly, I eventually got some feedback via text that Rusty had “liked” the image. I told him that that was surprising, to which he only responded with one of his notorious shrug emojis. Wtf, dude?

A few days later, when the Colin Kaepernick Nike ad broke into the news and memes started popping up left and right to make fun of it, I happened to send him one. He eventually sent one back. And from there commenced several days of us just trading funny memes back and forth.

Then on September 11th, of all days, something weird happened. In the early afternoon, I got a text from a random number – “Whats up.” I answered “Whats up” in turn, all the while checking back through my text message archives in my email to see if I could find out who it was. I found nothing in my text archives from that phone number going back several years. Hm. I looked up the area code to find that it was a Wisconsin-based number. Weirder still, as I don’t know anyone from there that I could recall.

When I received a reply asking me where I was at at the moment, I chalked it up to it being a wrong number and suggested so. This person only declared that they had the right number and then sent me a picture of myself saying “You’re hot.”

Yet this mystery person refused to identify themselves after I asked several times, so I immediately sensed some shenanigans afoot and told them quite bluntly several times to stop fucking texting me. Said person only proceeded to call me crazy and to spring forth with laughing-face emojis.

My immediate thoughts, in terms of the few people I could think of that would do something like this, was that perhaps it was Ben. I haven’t talked to him in ages, and it didn’t seem fathomable that he would suddenly appear out of the blue to do something like that, but in terms of the kind of personality type that I know for a fact likes to fuck with people with no rhyme or reason, that’s all Ben, all day.

But no sooner had I pointedly asked if it was in fact Ben did it hit me that the writing style reminded me an awful lot of Rusty. Specifically, it was the fact that this person kept asking me things like “What are you doing rn” or “Where are you at rn” that immediately called Rusty to mind. “Rn” is an abbreviation that Rusty has regularly used in our text conversations to denote the phrase “right now” and is the ONLY person I have texted with in recent memory who using that specific terminology. On top of that, when I mentioned the Gaslamp district, said mystery person implied a familiarity with it that could only be attributed to someone who was familiar with San Diego – like Rusty.

But once I had mentioned Ben’s name, mystery texter took that and ran with it, trying to insist several times that it was in fact Ben. Yet when I pointedly declared several times that I think it’s actually Rusty,  this person ignored any mention of that. The last thing I heard from this number, after I once again said I think it’s Rusty, was “You’ve lost your mind.” And that was that.

The next day, I painstakingly analyzed the mystery number’s text patterns against previous texts I’ve gotten from Rusty to compare them, and I become 95% certain, just based off Rusty’s text patterns, emoji usage, syntax, etc. that the mystery texter was him. I just couldn’t fathom what his purpose was.

Over the next couple of days, I asked Rusty through his real phone number if that had been him. He finally answered one night to tell me that I’m “still cray” and then said he didn’t know what I was talking about. Yet lo and behold, after 2 months of the silent treatment toward me, and coincidentally only after I accused him of being said mystery texter, he suddenly starts responding to my texts and we have somewhat of a real conversation again. Hm. It was nothing astoundingly productive besides him continuing to call me crazy, even though “at least I am pretty.” I warned him to be careful – that that’s the nicest thing he has said to me in months so he might be getting soft.

I then suggested that maybe it is actually him who is crazy. He surprisingly affirmed that suggestion and asked if I agreed. I told him I think he is a little crazy, to be honest. He asked why. I told him I think he knows why. He wanted my perception, so I said I would think most events since around July 2 would cover it. He said the same could go for me. I told him that whatever I said or did was not to purposely hurt him, but I cannot say the same for him. He laughed it off. We had somewhat of a more serious conversation about some things that had been going on at my place of business, and from there, and since then, he has been more responsive through text, even if intermittently.

I’ve said things to him along the lines of how, as I still do think he was the mystery texter, that maybe that was his way of trying to get me to talk to him because he can’t readily admit he was sorry for everything. I told him pointedly the other night that I think he has missed me.

He either doesn’t respond to any attempts at any type of analytical or real conversation or laughs everything off. Or tries to be belittling and condescending such as when he responded with this:



I point out that he has been texting me as well; he exclaims that I have sent the majority of the texts out of the last 100 or so we have exchanged. Okay? I’m not the one texting you from fake numbers, dude. He still insists that wasn’t him (but I know it was).

Apparently he is deployed somewhere at the moment. I tell him to let me know if he needs anything. That was 2 days ago when we last talked. I haven’t said anything to him since and really don’t plan to.

He finally made a move against me in our Words With Friends rematch that I started 10 or so days ago, so I guess it’s business as usual.

I really don’t understand him.

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