Friday, August 8, 2008

Your Call Is Important to Us

Dear friends, I am sick of it, so just stop. It’s bad enough I have to put up with this when I’m there, it’s work then, but for Christ’s sake why call me at home and do it? You know I can’t see over the phone, so I don’t know what you’re talking about half the time, and then you act all hurt because I sound bored. Well, yeah, I am. Sue me. Call me an asshole. When you ask, “What’s this?” or wonder aloud, “Well, that shouldn’t be there,” are you even talking to me? You say I don’t sound very interested, but, let’s put it this way, what the exact fuck are you trying to say? It sounds like you’re brushing your Bluetooth every time we talk, and every time I reply, I hear it echo back to me, only all distorted like I’m Stephen Hawking playing Batman. Am I on speaker? God, I miss the days of black bakelite phones with cords and rotary dials, when we didn’t spend half the conversation talking about the connection, which, no, frankly, is not good, but, hey, let’s spend an hour hearing our voices click on and off. Thought I just lost you. Or let’s just call each other up, tag-team style, leaving terse pissed-off voice mails and spend 25 minutes just to establish whose phone is fucked up worse. This is supposed to be cutting-edge 21st-century tech, yet it’s like adjusting the rabbit ears to improve reception on the Flintstones. Half my neighbors hold half their phone conversations outside in the parking lot. Zombies. It’s a fucking hazard. And could you, just for five minutes, put down whatever it is you’re doing, and focus on the conversation so we can get this the hell over with asap? Half the time you sound like you’re hacking through virgin jungle with a machete, only it turns out you’re just salting a lamb chop. If you (one) have nothing in particular to say and (two) are busy doing something else anyway and (three) can’t be bothered to narrow the scope of your attention—Good boy. That’s my dog. No! No! No!—to try to establish some actual communication with the person (me) you just speed-dialed, why the fuck should I pretend thrilled-ness at hearing your staticky, pulsating voice choosing between paper or plastic? You know I hate these things anyway. With pure Dorothy Parker-grade venom. For all the times I use them I’d be better off with a payphone in my apartment—even at 50 cents a pop I’d be paying tops $15 for all my local calls. And Verizon, Christ! for every six days I get a dial tone I have four without. Are you drinking? Are you drunk? Are you stoned? Fucks sake, man, fuck. No it’s me. Me. Fuck.

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