Sunday, April 18, 2004

I heard from an old friend a moment ago; my cell phone rang with an unfamiliar Tampa number and there, on the other end, was him. I didn't recognize the voice, but the mannerisms gave it away. As the years get farther away from me I find that more than anything else he unsteadies me, makes me feel unclean. It's a thrill in itself to realize that there's no thrill there anymore.
"Hey, baby."
"Do you miss me?"
"Astoundingly. Who--"
He cuts me off. He's always done that, and it's annoying.
"The new album came out last night. Did you buy it?"
"Oh, hi. No."
"Why not?"
"Because you're a dick."
"Yeah, but I pay a mean guitar."
"To what do I owe the dubious honor of this phone call? Are you dying?"
"Don't think so. Just wanted to see if you were going to visit me when you were in town."
"How did you..." I know the answer before I finish the question. My dad must have mentioned it. And he must not be getting laid much these days, if he's calling me again. "I didn't visit you last time I was in town. Why would I want to break such an impressive record? Besides, have you forgotten that we hate each other?"
"We're meant for each other, baby. Why, got a boyfriend?"
"You're infuriating. Of -course- I have a boyfriend, numbskull. But that's not the point."
"Oh, what's the point?"
"The point is, you're a dick."
"Yeah, yeah. Look, I have a gig tonight. This is my number. Look me up when you're in town."
"You betcha, buddy. Hold your breath."
And with all of that, he was gone. I'm a bit weirded out at his uncanny knack for knowing what's happening in my life, since it's been more than a year since the last time we've spoken. I'm shaken, but triumphant--this is the first time in five years that I haven't, not even a little bit, wanted the drama back.
I wouldn't trade the world I have now for anything else.

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