Saturday, August 18, 2007

quick question how do you get your ankles so high above your head
from a 785 phone number, Friday, August 17, 9:25 PM

This is a different phone number, obviously, from the 713 booty text that I posted a few days ago, the one that asked some Leila, "a hoe," if she was busy. But I'd like to believe that both the 785 person and the 713 person were trying to reach the same Leila. 785 is in Kansas and 713 is in Texas, which would make this one Leila pretty nationally renowned for her sexual prowess and availability.

I guess it's more likely that they're two separate Leilas, that there's one Leila in Texas who's "a hoe," and one Leila in Kansas who can get her ankles really high above her head. Also, there's a Leila in New York who receives a surprising number of misdirected risque text messages, but as for that, well... whatever.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Be careful when u go get gas people are putting HIV+ needles under the handles, supposed to be on the news,forward this to everybody you know!
from a 916 phone number, Thursday, August 16, 5:20 PM

Sometimes a little beauty like this falls into my cell phone and then I have to thank God for the Leila Texts, because otherwise how would I become aware of breaking news stories like this one? And thank God I have a blog, because otherwise how would I ever be able to share such nuggets with you?
15/16/17/and 18 year olds that i don't even know uu know? and plus idk if evan could go yet because hes camping right now and(ugh i hate my parents for
from a 626 area code, Thursday, August 16, 12:46 AM

This text woke me up last night. I didn't understand it when I tried to read it then and assumed that was because I was asleep, but I'm awake now, and still I don't understand it.

Maybe she's only like 14 years old and she isn't sure if she wants to go do this thing because there will be so many older kids there? But why enumerate each of their ages ("15/16/17/and 18 year olds")? That's a lot of detail.

You definitely get the impression, though, that it's not worth going to this thing without Evan. He's probably her boyfriend. They're probably inseparable. Each day that he's away camping is like a bullet through her heart.

I wonder what her parents did this time. Something supremely awful, for sure.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Omg i just got my nails dun r u gonna get urs dun??? Or r u getting glu ons plz get them dunso im not the only 1!!!
from a 949 phone number, Monday, June 18, 7:04 PM

Prom season's a bitch.
Just made the bus we will discuss harry this week
from a 201 phone number, Friday, July 20, 3:47 PM

I enjoyed this text message because I received it a mere eight hours before I, too, purchased my Harry Potter #7. The idea that we all care so deeply about HP-- even those strangers living in the far-off 201 area code-- made me feel like I belong to an extraordinary community.

I'll use this as an excuse to quote Benedict Anderson's IMAGINED COMMUNITIES. He talks, as I do, about reading. (He's talking about newspapers, I'm talking about Harry Potter, but it makes no difference.) Anderson writes: "[Reading the daily paper] is performed in silent privacy, in the lair of the skull. Yet each communicant is well aware that the ceremony he performs is being replicated simultaneously by thousands (or millions) of others of whose existence he is confident, yet of whose identity he has not the slightest notion."

Which is the best summary I have ever heard of the experience of reading HP7 on the day it came out.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Hi @ masons house on sat...3 til ? ..its franks bday...please come by if ur free...
from a 562 phone number, Thursday, July 26, 6:52 PM

Thank you for your kind invitation, but I'm afraid I must decline as 1) I was busy and 2) I just looked it up, and 562 is in southern California, which seemed a far distance to travel just for Frank's birthday party. No offense to Frank, who is probably a charming young man.
no way
from a 617 phone number, Monday, August 13, 11:39 PM

This reminds me to tell you: if you want to try out a Leila Text for yourself, you're definitely welcome to, but you need to indicate that your text really is intended FOR ME and not for some other Leila. I assumed this one was for me because it's from a 617 area code, but otherwise I wouldn't have replied. Like I mentioned, replying to the Leila Texts makes me seem creepy, so I generally avoid it.
R u goinmg to the poool today
from a 973 phone number, Tuesday, August 14, 3:13 PM

I sort of wish I had gone to the pool today, but sadly I was busy. Fortunately it wasn't so hot that I felt I NEEDED to go to the pool. I don't know how hot it was in the 973 area code (wherever that is). Pretty hot, I'd guess.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Grand Canyon AZ rim has.. El Tovar Hotel... Bright Angel... Yavapai.. Kachina and Thunderbird Lodges
from an 805 phone number, Friday, July 20, 9:00 PM

Your guess is as good as mine.
Leila in the house!
from a 703 number, Friday, July 20, 10:29 PM

I hate getting Leila Texts at 10:30 on weekend nights, because I always hope they're from one of my friends, asking me to hang out, when really they're from strangers in 703 area codes, wherever 703 is.
Kari called me like 3 days ago..i totally forgot to tell u!
from a 510 phone number, Tuesday, July 31, 12:53 AM

I have no idea why this statement is significant. Had Leila been waiting for ages for Kari to call? Maybe Kari was out of the country, or in the hospital or something, and she's now reemerged back into society? I think Kari and Leila aren't all that close.
Hey! I started a garden today! I got my dirt,my seeds,and my water,all i need is a hoe. U BUSY?
from a 713 phone number, Monday, July 30, 11:05 PM

This is the first booty text I have ever received. I totally love it. I wonder what the real Leila would have done, if she had received this text like she was supposed to. Would she have been like, "Ew, you're so skeezy," or would she have been like, "YES I am so there!"? I wonder if this other Leila is a slut.
in a way it was like she was threatening me to sign. i told her i was not going to sign and to call me to tell me what "things" she was talking about.
from a 281 phone number, Tuesday, July 31, 5:54 PM

This text is absolutely RIFE with drama. Who is "she"? What is she threatening you to sign? I kind of assume an apartment lease, but I have no basis for that assumption. And what "things" WAS she talking about??? I honest to God want to know.
hey stranger what's up with u
from a 714 phone number, Monday, August 6, 5:15 PM

I wonder if that's just a turn of phrase or if, when this person sent this text, s/he knew that it was going to reach an ACTUAL stranger.
Today is sexy friend day. And BABY you know you are sexy! Send this to all ur sexy friends (including me). if u get 5 back,u r sexy 2the max
from a 626 phone number, Thursday, August 9, 8:53 PM

Honestly, I had not even realized there was such a thing as "chain texts" until I started getting the Leila Texts. But apparently they're all the rage with young teenaged girls.

At least, I assume this comes from a young teenaged girl. I suppose it could be from a 50-year-old man, who wants to tell his friend Leila that BABY she knows she is sexy! You never know.
Hey! I just got a job offer.can you do pro's & cons wme over brunch
from a 909 phone number, Monday, August 13, 1:49 PM

This one I actually called back. I rarely call the Leila Texters, because there are a lot of them and it's always awkward to explain. The conversation, when I do bother to call, generally goes as follows:

THEM: "Hello? Who is this>?"
ME: "Hi, sorry to bother you, but you just texted me."
THEM: "Um, no, sorry. You must have the wrong number."
ME: "Were you trying to text your friend Leila?"
THEM: (obviously creeped out) "Yes..."
ME: "Right, your text came to me by accident. You see, there's this weird thing with Verizon..."

That was pretty much what this particular phone call went like, except one-sided, because I got the girl's voicemail. I left her a message that ended lamely with, "Congratulations on your job offer! Sorry, that was weird, never mind."

My co-worker Leslie suggested that I should have offered to do pros and cons with her. It was a good idea; I am excellent at pros and cons.
from a 707 phone number, Monday, August 13, 2:45 PM

Why do people send texts like this? It drives me crazy. Every week, the Leila Texts include like two messages that say "hi" and nothing else. Even if I WERE the Leila you were trying to reach, I wouldn't text you back. It's not worth the one cent, or whatever it costs to text nowadays.
I am drunk i love you even when i am sober!
from an 810 phone number, Sunday, August 12, 11:22 PM

This is a sweet text, though I kind of feel like 11:22 PM on a Sunday is a reckless time to be sending out drunk texts. Personally I like to reserve those for, say, Saturday, 3 AM. Maybe this 810 person doesn't have a job? Or maybe s/he just doesn't mind showing up hungover to the office on Monday morning. It's probably a she. I don't know many guys who drunkenly text their love to girls. That's a chick thing.

What Are the Leila Texts?

When you send a text message on the Verizon network, you can address your text by choosing a name out of your contact list, or you can address it by typing in a phone number. You can also type in a name. And if you type in L-E-I-L-A, then-- bizarrely-- your text will come to me.

This is a blog about the texts I have received. All of them are from strangers, intended for some other Leila, but obviously they missed their marks.

Some of these texts are funny, some are sad, and nearly all are confusing. I speculate as to who they're from and whom they are supposed to go to-- and I welcome you to speculate, too-- but of course we're just guessing. A few words can tell you only so much of a story.

Welcome to the Leila Texts. Small glimpses into strangers' lives, courtesy of a technological glitch.