Zero Conversation

This is Sandra Essiam.

sandra essiam

Or, rather, “sandra essiam,” if you will, spelled without any proper punctuation. (Hmmmmm … it very well could be “sandra, yes I am” too.)

“sandra” shot me a message Thursday morning … 2:25 a.m. to be exact. The message cryptically read “ are you” with no further correspondence. And yes … it read exactly so — no capitalization, happenstance spacing, et al.

Now here’s the thing: I don’t know “sandra.” I’ve never heard of her, I’ve never previously seen her before and I really don’t know what compelled her to contact me at 2:25 in the morning.

I was tempted to respond: “2:25 in the morning. Hell of a way to introduce yourself” was what first came to mind. But two things struck me almost immediately after receiving the message:

First, she wasn’t on-line when I got it. (She shot the message via Google chat which has indicators if you’re actively on-line.) Not that that made any real difference; she would have gotten a return response one way or another had been so inclined. Second, in so responding, what would be the point? It was simply a knee-jerk reaction, my sarcasm kicking in that urged me to boomerang a reply back at her.

What was “sandra’s” motivation for pinging me so early in the morning? Did she want to chat? Was she intrigued by things I’ve said on the web? Was she board? Or could the reason be something else all together?

I’m pretty certain it was “something else all together.” Knowing this, there was no reason I needed to delve into the unknown at 2:25 in the morning. (I mean, I’m an early riser but, unless I have a trip planned requiring me up at that hour, there’s zero need for me to get out of bed at that time.) And there was no reason for me to look into who this “sandra” is any further. Sorry “sandra.”

But … you know what? No … I’m not sorry. Don’t contact me again. And especially when I don’t know who the hell you are and doubly so so early in the morning.



“Excuse me …”

I didn’t hear the man I had parked behind at the gas station call out. I was concentrating on putting gasoline in the containers in front of me. I didn’t see he was trying to get my attention.

“Excuse me …”

One container filled, I moved onto the next.

Excuse me … sir?”

I looked up, not only hearing him but realizing he had been attempting to attract my attention.

“Yes?” I responded.

“There’s a triple ‘A’ right over there …”

I looked to where the man was pointing over his shoulder, bobbing his finger in the direction he to look.

“There is at that,” I confirmed.

“They can help you out, I’m sure” he offered.

I was puzzled why he was offering this information but I played along. “They’ve helped many people before. In need, they could help me, too.”

“Looks like that need is evident right now,” he told me.

I just stared at him, wondering what in the world he was talking about. There had to have been a quizzical look on my face as the conversation progressed because he began smirking.

He pointed to his chest … and then he pointed at mine.

I’d forgotten: I was wearing my “Lost” T-shirt …