Wednesday, April 20, 2011

"New York Telephone Conversation"

Well, he did it. Young Based Gaitan finally updated his blog.

Submitted for your approval, a story I wrote in a scant hour, but I thought about for a lot longer. What I'm hoping to convey is the feeling of a phone call with a person that one cares about a lot. Essentially, we've all had at least one interaction that we couldn't quite stop thinking about, for reasons that are ours to keep.

Tentatively titled "Person-to-Person," but I'll probably just delete this tomorrow and post one esoteric sentence and a heart.

When you've finished reading, comments are appreciated, but if you have the time, answer me this: what DOES the sound of a receiver picking up mean to you? What does that click make you think?

With much further ado:


One ring, then another, each a heartbeat. A ringing phone had always been his pulse. If the line went dead, he was sure he would as well.

Then the click. The one. Either he's about to send another signal, or someone's honed into his heart.


The sound of her voice. On air, he was, in his own words.


Many people have an immediate answer to this question. The Hero of Our Story never did.

“Oh, um, hey! Hi- how're you?”

Three greetings, zero content. The Hero of Our Story couldn't help but think about these things. What should he say next? Should he mention that the click of the connection was the sound of his troubles shuffling off?

“I'm fine. How are you?”

He told her how he was. And then he asked her again.

“That's good to hear! And hahaha, you already asked me that!”

Shit, he had. Play it cool, Hero of Our Story, play it cool. He didn't know what to say next.

“So... how're you?”

Now she did it! But he couldn't call her on that. Of course he could, but damned if he would.

“I'm doing okay. Sorry for the call, I hope you're not busy! It's just been a while, and I got to thinking of the time.”

She giggled, and his heart was never as kite-like again.

“What are you sorry for? Haha. I can't talk for long, and actually I have to run, but it's so good to hear from you! Listen, can I call you back? I'm free tomorrow, are you?”

For her, he was.

“For you, I am.”

“Okay, great! Listen, I'll give you a call, okay! I will! You take care now.”

“Okay, b--”

He told his friends about this call, he told them all the time, but he always wondered how it went.

What would he tell her tomorrow? Would he have a better story? Would he tell her how the hang-up chirp was his troubles turning back?

There's a world somewhere where he told her the funniest joke she'd ever heard. Where neither he or she were busy. There's a world out there where the Hero of Our Story talked away his whole day.

There's a world where she called back, and one in which she didn't. In both he got the message.