Saturday, September 10, 2005

Dropped connections

Like a bad cell phone.

The clarity fades in and out. Static, self-interference. Mind jumps around the channels, landing momentarily on a voice, then leaps to another. It's one-way. The receiver's bad, the other person can't hear you, and you constantly hear your own voice echoing back--hollow and low. The mumbles of a person afraid to live, afraid to speak their mind: they've been beaten down and sneered at too many times. Over time, the throat constricts and the thoughts remain trapped in the mind.

Randomly, the signal is clear, but only for a moment.

Dialogue. Mind caresses another mind. You speak freely, loud and clear. The conversation flows, wanders all over the mindscape. Imagination fires, and you have visions.

Then the connection drops. Or you realize you might've had the Wrong Number the entire time. Or the phone's been dead, and you wonder how long you've been talking to yourself, convinced someone had been there.

Or you're holding the phone, and neither one of you speaks for a long time. You can hear each other breathing. You don't want to hang up; you like holding the phone, having a connection; but, why do you feel so sad. Was this the Right Number? Should you hang up? Do you want to hang up? Had the lines been crossed at some point? Are they thinking of hanging up? Did you say anything interesting for the last Eternal Minutes? Do you really have anything to add to the Conversation? Anything of real substance, more than meaningless small talk? Do they? you cradle the phone tightly in a sweaty palm.

You end up boring and annoying yourself, staring at the phone in your hand. You touch "hold" and set the handset down for the night. You're not yet ready to hang up completely, but you don't want to hang on just for the sake of hanging on.

You have Nothing to say.

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