"Oh, don't tell me let me guess" says the voice on the phone.
"It's not some weird Cocteau Twins demos you found on the internet is it?"
"Good! Good! Because I get Google alerts. Do you do those?"
"I do for....."
He interrupts before I can finish "Cool. I get what you're saying". The voice then tells me about his day, how his co-workers are always wanting to bully him around and how he needs to talk to someone before he "stabs them with a sawblade or scissors".
"Do you know if Kate Bush has a daughter that is really mad at her?"
"Ummmm." I was a bit thrown off by this one. I was thinking maybe all the previous calls by this fellow were just some grand scheme for a set up and here would finally come the punchline.
Before you start wondering I don't work at a record store anymore. Nor a Suicide prevention line, phone sex, FIA, Social Security, one of those 900 party lines like basic cable advertised in the late 80's or a homeless shelter hotline.
Nope! I'm just a guy doing a radio show on a very hayseed city's college radio station. The caller has been dubbed "Of Montreal" because no matter what a dj is playing and how many times it's explained that they have their own specialty thing going on and he says "Cool Bro. I respect that. I understand that but...." then goes on how his co-workers tied him up, wrapped him in a blanket and threw him in the river or something about "a girl I thought was cool but stole all my money and set fire to my bathroom last night." He then will tell whoever is on the phone that he wants to hear something rowdy/mellow/angry/laid back/punk/techno/aggressive/background music (it doesn't really matter what you tell him you're playing because he just picks up on the keyword you tell him) and Of Montreal is usually always the band he'd request that fit his bill for all the above.
As for this particular call though I had no idea where he was coming from. "Dude. I AM NOT PLAYING ANY OF MONTREAL TONIGHT....or EVER now that I think about it! They sound like they're the people who do the music for the Outback Steakhouse commercials."
"Oh, I can respect that. I don't like them anymore either. I hear you bro! I was just trying to ask you what is was you are playing right now?"
I'm irritated. I pause. I inhale deep. Then exhale deep. I let the pause hang again. I think "I wish we could get caller ID in the place". I hesitate again before I reply.
"I really want to punch you in the face!" Well, that's what I'm thinking at least. My (somewhat) rationality and "nice guy" image takes over. "This is Zola Jesus"
"Right on bro. I hear what you're saying. Is she from England?"
"I can respect that. She's probably not from England then."
"She's probably not Kate Bush's angry daughter then."
"I'm guessing not."
"Do yo think she would set my bathroom on fire while I was sleeping"
"I don't know."
"Do you have her number because I would really like to talk to her because I...."
I hang up the phone before he continues to ask or tell me anything more. The phone rings 30 seconds later. The lady on the line meant to call another radio station.