Okay, here’s how lonely I am.
Saturday night, another Saturday night of spaghetti and Law and Order on A&E. No big.
The phone rings.
Long pause. I can hear WWE wrestling in the distance.
“Helllooooo. Who ‘s there? Hellooooo.”
Belabored breathing on the other end. Then intentional belabored breathing.
Why did I even pick up the phone? Fucking reflex. Fucking childhood reflex. Who even answers the phone anymore? Who even has a landline? Lonely people, that’s who.
Continued heavy breathing.
“Like wrestling, huh?”
Pause in breathing.
“Well, I’m watching Law and Order, yea, I’ve seen it. It’s comfort food. Something you just put on to forget about your stupid job. To kind of blank out. What’s your name?”
Small cough, throat clearing. The Undertaker is down, down for the count.
“You know, I do have caller ID. Sure the display is broken” (Stupid, stupid stupid, don’t let him know you know)
“But I could hang up and find out, easy, peasy. Then you’d be in trouble. Yea, you’d be in trouble.”
“Okay, ok, I won’t call, but what do you want? You gotta want something, is this some kind of pervy call. Telemarketer? Pervy telemarketer? Well, I’m just in a PJ top, no panties. So go wild.”
“Yea, and I’m hot, certainly out of your league you wrestling watching troglodike. 24-36-27. Strawberry blonde hair, too hot for you, you mouth-breather.”
Did he set the phone down? No.
“Fine, you wanna know about me? I’m 32, a paralegal, the middle child of three, I like Law and Order, crochet, I believe everyone is cosmically connected and therefore worthy of love and respect. Someday, I want to be a laywer, but because of finances, that dream will have to wait. My dream home is a split-level ranch and I prefer dogs over cats but have neither until I move out of this apartment.”
Am I on speakerphone? I hear an echo, no breathing. Did he leave?
So I talked on. I talked about my day, regular stuff, I can’t believe McMasters expects me to get all this shit done in one day. I talked about my strained relationship with my mother and how in my last relationship he cheated on me.
45 minutes past, then I heard a click. Dial tone.
That was the best date I’ve ever had. Someone who knows how to listen.