I needed a jump start so I called Mona who once knew every bug in my fur. I almost loved Mona and she almost loved me. Mona, I said, it’s the ghost of Christians past. Mona, said, Sam, if you call here again I am gonna get the cops. I didn’t know who Sam was but I scratched Mona off my list. I decided to start over alphabetically which meant that Annelise was next. She is an artist and dark like coffee grounds. She loved me once. She answered after seven rings and I didn’t try the joke again. I said, Annelise, I want to remember the times we had, you know, in the clutch of each other’s desperation. Sex, she answered. Well, yes, I admitted. I was thinking about sex. She said she had given up sex because of something she had seen on TV. I told her it was nice to talk to her anyway. I made many more phone calls and they were all going about the same way. No one wanted to see me naked anymore. This is what age does to us, I thought. When I reached Priscilla I found a little enthusiasm on the other end. She cooed. She made some other sounds. She told me I could make her come with just my thoughts. No one else made her come like I made her come. This was more like it. Ok, Priscilla, I said, how about now? Can we get together, your place preferably? My place is between styles. No, she said, you misunderstand me. I want you to make me come with your thoughts. By this time I was feeling especially lonely and especially like I would never have sex again and it seemed a very desolate realization. I was about to get into the shower where there was an adjustable head. The phone rang as soon as I was under the water. I debated. After three or four rings—telephones always seem overly insistent to me and I never did like the militant sounds they emit —I grabbed a towel and made it to the phone. It was Mona. She just started talking. She said, For some reason I was thinking about you. Remember that time with the pup tent? Remember that time I sat in the turkey pan full of warm gelatin? Remember how much you loved the twin fossettes above my ass? She went on for a bit. She was full of stimulating vibrato. When there was a gap in the flow I took a deep breath. Who is this? I asked. Please, tell me who is calling. And me, tell me, please, please tell me about me.
published 7 December 2011