I sat on the balcony of a cafe next to my work in Sydney gazing out at the puffy clouds in the sky to the west. It was lunch time, well, the end of lunchtime, I was in the habit of taking lunches later to make the rest of the work day go by quicker. I had tunnel vision, meaning I didn’t care to look around and see if anyone I knew was sitting nearby; all I could think of was how horrible it was to be in this situation.
I just wanted to cry but I was tired of crying, I cried for three days after every phone call because I couldn’t stop habitually ruminated over every detail of the call. He wanted to pretend like nothing was wrong; wanted to call me as if I was happy he dumped me and was now off doing what he thought was what I wanted to do all along. I couldn’t do it anymore. There was no reassurance, no mention that the problem existed other than a Freudian slip followed by a nervous laugh when he accidentally said April 4th (the day he dumped me in a smokey bar) instead of August 4th (the day he was planning some sort of backpacking trip). Regardless of him making such a big deal about leaving me behind for some life experience that he couldn’t do tied to some girl back home, he still insisted on calling me every few days to tell me of his adventures and listen to what I was doing.
It was that day, 4 months later that I realized he dumped me after 7 years to go on vacation.
So there I sat, plagued by cyclical emotions. The current emotion I was in was rather analytical and dry of energy. I realized that the only reason my mind was sick was because this voice kept creeping into my life from far away offering nothing more than a hint that it might come visit. The thought of which only filled me with dread.
Then the phone rang again, as if on cue. There it was again, apparently sitting in some cafe in Tibet or some country near there, expecting to get what it wanted out of me for the time being without leaving me with something of value in return. I was mad at it, but I didn’t know how to get rid of it. So I just started talking about all the boys that I’ve encountered to make him jealous (because I knew it would work regardless of how he denied ever being jealous). I went into detail about how the boys all loved me and complimented me on the strangest things and how they were all so different and all such good friends even though I had only known them for the few months I’d been in Sydney, and how I was really fascinated by one in particular.
Then I just came out with it and asked, “Why are you calling me?”
There wasn’t much of an answer, so I just kept talking, “I don’t understand why you are calling me, you were so mean to me, you said such horrible things, and now you want to call me like none of it ever happened, you just want to go on as if nothing happened.”
Somehow the subject of another girl came up, who I knew he had a crush on because he hadn’t stopped talking about her for an entire year. Then he said, “you always get in a such a rage when [girl] is mentioned, you know you’re just going to have to get used to her and I being friends.”
“No,” I said, “I don’t because I don’t want to talk to you anymore, this whole situation is driving me crazy and I don’t want to deal with it anymore.”
“Whoa…. What!?!” he responded almost with a slight laugh over me saying I was being driven crazy because he always called me crazy for having normal female emotions, “But [girl] and I were going to come visit you!”
“What the fuck do I care about seeing [girl], why the fuck does she have anything to do with this?” I said.
It was at that point someone (the fascinating one in particular, of all people) walked by and tapped me on the head with a rolled up newspaper, as if to say what specifically I am not sure, but I perceived as if, to say “hey I’m here and take it easy.”
“Great,” I thought, “I tried to keep all this away from new people, I tried as much as I could to not be broken, but I’ve failed by being stuck in this tunnel vision of a fog all because the phone happened to ring when someone I knew was nearby.” If I wasn’t pissed off at my situation before I definitely was now. And I wasn’t going to put up with this shit any longer.
“But I’ve been carrying gifts for you for three weeks until I could get to a post office, what am I supposed to do with them now?” the voice pleaded.
“Throw them away, I don’t care, I don’t want them anymore, give them to [girl] sounds like she’ll appreciate them,” I snapped back.
“Well okay,” he said, “If you’re going to be like that then I guess this is goodbye.”
“I guess so!” I retorted.
“Okay, then, bye.” were the last words from the voice I’ve ever heard.
Then sometime later… the phone rang back in Huntington Beach, California.
It was the voice on a train to his next city, calling a friend back at home.
“Friend! It’s [the voice],” came a solemnly desperate voice
“Hey man, What’s up?” asked the friend.
“Stephanie,” sob, “said she doesn’t want to talk to me anymore,” he cried.
Just as the friend was about to respond the call was dropped and there was silence.