Saturday, October 27, 2007

when sticky fingers do the walking ...

pista note: i wrote this earlier today, then a lot more stuff happened. so i completely rewrote it. so there.

the more i thought about my stolen cell phone, the more pissed off i got. it isn't the phone's primary feature i miss so much -- i really do not ever choose to have a lengthy phone conversation. i am, however, a nimble texter. i use the clock because i struggle intepreting the position of the short hand on an old fashioned clock face. i also very occasionally use the alarm clock feature; more occasionally use the note taking function and often use the camera.

and so thinking of sweet lauri the slippery fingered cell phone stealer had rustled some of my bile today as i considered the way she had screwed me by stealing my phone. and i thought "y'know ... i'm not sure i did everything possible yet to get back my phone."

so i began calling numbers, again, from my online cell phone log. meanwhile, a new phone is being fed ex'd to me. i have sevenish business days before i get it. but if i can get back the original ... well, that is what i'd prefer for all sorts of stupid reasons that are similar to why you don't throw away the gum wrapper from the wad you split with your prom date in 1994.

first i called the man i'd talked to late last week: dusty, i learned today. he's not seen lauri since the day she came around showing off her new nokia flip phone and bragging about how she could have a 1-2 minute conversation with ANYONE IN THE WORLD INCLUDING A 411 DIRECTORY ASSISTANT! WATCH ME!

but as soon as i casually mentioned that i had in my possession a list of "friends" she had called and a casual ease toward policemen, dusty broke:

he gave me her full name.
he didn't have her address, but told me exactly where she lives, right down to which apartment and practically the color of carpeting.
and he said he would still keep his eyes open for me.

next i called a woman named lindsay, who was very helpful. using the same "i could just give this list of phone numbers to the police, but i think it would be easier if i just dealt with her myself" line, and dusty's information about her full name and apartment number, lindsay joined my find my cellphone team. drugs, lindsay acknowledged, frequent cell phone stealing.

she, too, promised to be on the lookout.

i called a number from the list with a 607 area code and left a message.

since i had her last name now, and knew that she was from two harbors, i called a listing for john [laurie's last name]. here i found her frustrated sister, who told me that she is sick of lauri and wishes she would "grow the [eff] up." lauri has three kids and a serious drug problem. her sister wished i would just call the police. "but," she said, "i think lauri called my mom yesterday. i'll check with her and see if she can get into lauri's apartment and look around."

now i went digital with my research: married twice, suspended nursing liscense, arrested and jailed and fined for giving false information to a policeman. 32 years old. one of her exes, ron, seemed promising. i could find a phone number for him, and it sounded familiar. i believe ron was the one who left her the "c'mon lauri, don't be like that. answer the phone" message that tipped me off to her spree.

i decided to wait for her sister to get back to me before dragging ron into the mess.

the 607 area code called me back. "hello?" i said. "lauri?" he said. "what?" i asked. this was getting surreal. now i was getting calls for her on a land line? "no," i said. "this is christa. lauri stole my cell phone."

i explained the story to him. he told me he was calling from new york. that he had to leave the greater duluth area because of this minx, lauri, but that they are still occasionally in contact. he had assumed, when he saw the 218 area code, that i was lauri -- calling from a new number, as she is wont to do. he told me that if he talked to her, he would see what he could do.

then lindsay called back. breathless. she had just tried all of the numbers from which lauri had ever called her in the past, but had not gotten ahold of her yet. lindsay was on her way to minneapolis, but said she would continue hunting for my phone when she comes back on sunday. "i'll call you sunday night," she promised.

then new york called back again. "y'know," he said. "i can't remember his phone number anymore, but you should call her dad. his name is john. he lives in two harbors. i'm sure its in the phone book. here's what you do:

pretend you are looking for carrie's phone number. that's lauri's sister. say you went to school with her. then call carrie and tell her what happened. she'll help you out. DON'T ACCIDENTALLY TALK TO HER OTHER SISTER, THOUGH!"

"well," i said. "i already talked to one of her sisters. i didn't get her name," i explained. "she said maybe lauri's mom would go to her apartment and look around."

"where's lauri living these days?" new york asked me.

and here things take a strange twist. instead of searching for my cell phone, i'm updating lauri's friends and family on her life in a sort of christmas letter detail. and these people are forgetting that i've been robbed of my digital clock. instead i've become frigging lauri's personal paul revere.

"two harbors," i said. "white house, upstairs apartment."
"hmm ..." he said. "so she's still living there ..."
"anyway," i said. "i also talked to her friend lindsay [last name] who is trying to help me find it."
"oh," he said. "okay."
"do you think i should try calling ron?" i asked new york, referring to lauri's exhusband.
"ohhhh," new york groaned. "do you really wanna go there? ... hmmm ... i suppose that isn't a bad idea."
"really?" i ask.
"yeah," new york tells me. "he takes care of her kids and he's the one who always gives her money. he'll for sure know where she is. do you know how she's doing?"
"it sounds like she's heavy into the drugs," i confirm what he suspects.

we chatted a few more minutes.
this search is getting more and more bizarre. it's like if i overturn one more lauri rock, i'm going to end up becoming friends with her or something. three years from now we'll be sitting around, trying to consume the mickey's big mouths we have duct taped to our hands before it hits our bladders and i'll be all: remember when you stole my cell phone? and we'll laugh. oh how we'll laugh.


Beverly said...

Sometimes private investigators just look in the phone book and pretend it was harder than that and pad their bill. But I know that's not the kind of PI you're going to be.

Beret said...

My ex stole one of my personal journals right before we broke up. He's from Somerset, NJ, he's 36 (now) and has ties to the mob (true story). Could you track him down for me?

This entry is hilarious. Please let us know when you finally meet Lauri(e).

amy a. said...

i say we do a re-con and go to two harbors. my bro was a PI for awhile, and i learned how to pick locks from him.

Laurie said...

Damn these Laurie's giving Laurie's bad names! Maybe you'll be the one to get her off drugs! You'll be godmother to her kids!

Beverly said...

You rewrote this, and now my comment doesn't make any sense. It's just not fair.

L Sass said...

That is an amazing story. I can't believe how much of Lauri's life has been revealed in so few days!! I hope you dig up more dirt and report back.