Tuesday, May 17, 2011
The other night I was having a phone conversation and hanging up clothes.
I have this giant computer phone, about as big around as one of those packs of playing cards they make especially for little kids, and I squish it between my shoulder and ear ever-so-lightly because it has a touch screen and hangs up on itself more often than not.
The other night I was having my customary phone conversation while my person drove home from their evening engagement and I hung clothes up in my closet. Whenever I take something off, I can't help but place it on the floor. I don't even toss it on the floor, or smoosh it up and throw it into a corner-I take it off, over my head or over my feet, and carefully put it on the floor. I can't put anything away.
But, weekly or so, I scoop piles of clothes up from my brown carpet and hang them while I'm talking on the phone.
I was having this phone conversation and hanging up clothes, trying to move things off the carpet and balance the phone ever-so-lightly under my ear, and I was putting things on the dowel that hangs on the inside of one of my doors, and I was maneuvering tight collars around hard plastic hangers, and my phone was just beginning to get too hot on my shoulder, and I was smoothing the wrinkles out of pants. I watched the hangers clacking all over each other in the closet and everything blue all over the floor, talking, hanging, talking again, then hanging. My room is so small that if there's two things on the floor it's covered, and there was ten times that amount. I was surrounded by things to clean up.
His drive home continued on and I continued to clean up, keeping it all together and close and tidy in the closet that I never close. As I continued to move things into one corner of my room, the phone service started to cut out. It happens all the time when you talk on the phone far away and one of you is currently in motion. The conversation began to spatter, and we stopped making sense to each other.
We can never tell if it's me or him, sometimes it's the Spot (we call it the Spot at this one place when service always goes out) but usually, who knows whose phone it is. I don't. I wish I did.
Sometimes the call drops automatically and my phone makes a dull beep. Sometimes he can hear me and I can't hear him, or I can hear him and he can't hear me. Sometimes when I can tell the call is going to drop I take the phone away from my face (once we can't hear each other) and stare dully and patiently at the screen until the red call button turns gray, which sometimes takes almost a minute.
There's always this period of time right after the call drops that neither phone can call the other, which is usually spent trying to hang things up without the brick wedged between my head and my hot shoulder.
This night, I hung, and chatted, and smiled, and stopped in the middle of a response to the familiar ring of whiter noise across the phone line, which meant the call was about to drop and that he probably couldn't hear me. My face got hot. I stopped in the middle of what I was saying, hearing him say
and then, quiet.
I dropped my hanger
and I said
"I'm here," I said, louder, more impatiently, more to myself than him or anyone, more to the lonesomeness I felt, hanger at my feet. I said it again as the call dropped and my voice bounced off the insides of my room and screeched in my ears.
"I'm here," I whispered.
at 8:04 AM