There isn't really just one Southern accent in the U.S.; there are quite a lot of differences in the way people speak in, say, the mountains of Tennessee, the coast of South Carolina, and the middle of Texas. It only sounds all the same to non-Southerners, in the same way that almost all English accents sound classy to most Americans. I have been able to tell that someone wasn't from a part of the South near where I grew up because they pronounced the word "oil" as "erl" rather than "awl."

They always call right after I get home from work, when I’m at my weakest. My guard is down, I’ve been hammered by mind-numbing obstacles all day, and the sweet, sweet sounds of her voice lulled me into her net and… and it has to be a marketing ploy. Very clever, indeed.

Mr. Spraitzar?” She asked, pronouncing my name correctly. Ten bonus points for her. I’ll at least listen to this one and then say “no, thank you” as nicely as possible.

“This is he,” I muttered as politely as possible. I still think that phrase sounds rude and uninviting, no matter how hard I try to make it sound otherwise.

Mr. Spraitzar,” she began, “I’m calling from CapitalOne card services, and I’d like to offer you a free credit rating report, plus three free months of card security services.” Thus the spiel began, and the rest I don’t rememeber. I was too enthralled by the enchanting nature of her voice. It was almost sing-sing and annoying, but it came to the very edge, paused, and the hovered there. Thus it attained perfection. I stopped breathing, I stopped moving, I stopped my heart from beating. These things all created too much background noise and distracted too much from her voice. They were meaningless for the moments she continued on her memorized litany of carefully crafted, well-organized words. As she came to the end of a very long sentence… yes, a deep intake of air, the fuel for her voice. Wow.

“So, Mr. Spraitzar, I just need to verify your name and current address to sign you up for this service.”

I am a sucker for southern accents, I think. “Okay,” I said, without blinking an eye. She could have been sentencing me to 10 years in Siberia. I didn’t care; I was just following the prompts. I didn’t need this service. I have one credit card, which has been used once, and paid off the very next day. I have it because the only way to get a credit history is to maintain some type of credit.

The verification done, she asks my date of birth.
“April 13th, 1981.” That fateful day I know all too well.
“Which month?” she asks me to repeat. If she were asking for the key to my safety deposit box, I would have said yes.
“April. 13th. This year it’s Friday, April 13th,” I remarked.

And then… then she laughed. Not really a laugh, but not a giggle either. It made me feel humorous, for the briefest of moments. Then I realized she was laughing at my predicament, my impending doom. It did not matter, however; the wonderful intonations of her voice interrupted the downward spiral of my thoughts, and brought me back into the un-reality created by the sound of her voice.

That’s all the information I need. Now, this service will….” Again the same spiel she had gone through earlier in the call. I didn’t hear it again, I only felt the words to sound the same as they had before. I was floating along on them, and wondering to myself… CapitalOne is based out of Richmond. I bet she’s calling from Richmond. That might explain her accent. I wonder if she likes the Dave Matthews Band? I wish I could bring myself to ask. How weird would that be though, being asked by “Mr. Spraitzar,” a non-entity in her life, if she liked the Dave Matthews Band? I was further amused by the logical conclusion to these thoughts. “You doing anything on April 21st and 22nd? I have tickets for those Dave shows in Charlottesville, Virginia. I like your voice. You’re invited.”

“Thank you for your time, Mr. Spraitzar.”

And I didn’t respond, “I am a sucker for southern accents” but I should have.

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