So… here’s an odd piece that’s been hanging out in my writing file for a few years. I wrote this for a writing contest that had to involve a voicemail message… which I then promtly missed the submittal deadline on. Do I like it? Am I proud of it? Sure it isn’t my best… and I find it pretty dark. but I do like it. And since it seems to be so conveniently blog post length…
“Hey, this is Brian, leave me a message and I’ll call you back.”
“Hi Babe, it’s me. Look, I just wanted to tell you I’m sorry I yelled at you on that last message. You didn’t deserve that… actually, you did deserve it, don’t we all know that! But I’m sorry I did it. I’m just so sorry these days. I’m tired too, but that’s no excuse for yelling.
People just won’t leave me alone, it feels like. They keep calling. You know who keeps calling? Your brother! Isn’t that weird? Four calls in two days. I know he’s trying to be nice, but Jesus! I have other things to do than have awkward conversations about pasta. Your Dad’s pretty broken up- I saw them today. Your dad looked scared, honestly. And your mom, she just keeps moving forward, that woman.
I dreamed about you last night. God, you looked twenty five, maybe? And you smiled that smile at me, and we just fell, face to face, over a cliff… over the bed, I don’t know. But God was I happy to see you.
Look, I don’t have your password. So when these messages fill up on your voicemail I won’t be able to listen to them. Don’t want to anyway. I don’t want to hear it if she left you a message. I couldn’t handle listening to her say something and imagining it would have made you smile. That would be too much, I think. She didn’t make it either, by the way. You’d think I should be happy about that, but I’m not. Somebody should have survived at least.
And besides, I don’t want to hear what I must sound like right now. Bit of pride right there, I guess. So when your voicemail fills up I’ll cancel your phone. No more late night nagging calls from your wife; any husband’s dream right there, right? Maybe that’s this one. I don’t know.”
“I love you.”
“I miss you.”
“Hey, this is Brian…”
(image by Gary Tamin)