Some years ago, the telephone company was affectionately refered to as Ma Bell. This in an era without caller ID, screening, or *69, The following event would not have occurred had the tools of privacy been in effect. I hope you enjoy the tale and I would love your comments on it. I am sharing for your pleasure and for the memories it evokes of my early writings, and………………
Robert, Ma Bell and Me
I just couldn’t let it keep ringing. Damning the caller every inch of the way, I dripped from the patio, through the carpeted den, into the kitchen. Even as I lifted the receiver a puddle began to form at my feet
“Hello.” I said pleasantly, because I always liked to be pleasant when answering the phone.
“Talk to me.”
The voice was a frantic whisper. I could barely make out the words. My heart did a funny little rat-a-tat and I threw a dish towel under my feet.
“What did you say? I can hardly hear you.” Instinctively, my own speech became throaty.
“Please ……………………… talk to me.”
Common sense dawned and I realized this must be a put on. The racquet my husband and kids were making in the pool drifted through the kitchen window.
“Who is this? Tony, is it you?” I thought how to make my neighbor, Tony, laugh and give himself away at the same time. “OK Tony, I want your fabulous body.”
No laugh from the caller in response to my joking offer.
“I love you,” he said softly.
My heart stopped beating altogether and I became a little frightened.
“Look, since you’re not going to tell me who you are I’m hanging up.”
“No, don’t hang up. Please don’t.”
I clicked the receiver down and stared at the phone for perhaps a full minute. He didn’t call back. Suddenly, I realized I was cold. It had to be twenty degrees cooler in the house than out in the sun. Almost an hour later I had forgotten about the caller, having dismissed him as a chance weirdo.
It was getting harder and harder to make ends meet. If I held off the electric bill I could pay the telephone company, VISA, and send the twenty-third payment to the dentist. In the midst of my deliberation the intrusion sounded.
“Will somebody get that?
The ring trembled two more times before I slid my chair backward. The house was unusually quiet. I peeked into the living room and caught my husband asleep on the couch. The phone rang once again. I answered.
“City morgue. You stab ’em, we slab ’em. Hello.” It was my poor attempt to lighten someone’s day.
“I love you.”
I recognized his husky whisper at once and knew I should hang up, but I didn’t.
“Who is this?” I finally said.
“Will you talk to me? I’ve missed you.”
My pulse began to pick up speed. The caller sounded young. Not boyish, but definitely not a mature man.
“Why do you want me to talk to you?” I figured this was noncommittal. I wasn’t actually talking to the telephone freak, I was asking questions. Wasn’t that totally different?”
“Will you talk to me? Are you busy? Tell me what you’re doing.” He pleaded.
I relaxed and a warm feeling came over me. This was getting interesting. The high point of a dull day.
“I am kind of busy writing out checks. Bill day always depresses me. What are you doing?”
“I’m wishing I was there with you, kissing your soft full lips. Would you like that?”
His words took me aback. I don’t mind kidding around some, but he had to be put in his place.
“That depends on whose doing the kissing. Look, do you know me?” My voice had now become no-nonsense, and snappish.
“No, I don’t know you and you don’t know me. It’s perfectly safe. We could become lovers.”
I hung up. This guy was a nutty as a Watergate salad. I’m thirty-six years old, and have been married forever. In all that time I’ve had a few offers, but always ran like a duck at the pillow factory when it got down to the real thing.
Not that I haven’t been tempted. When they were building the house next door, oh that tractor driver? He was prime male. Direct too. Came right out and asked if I cheated.
Alas, I’ve been content with my fantasies. Attaching them to this good-looking male, or that, depending on my mood, or how strong they’ve come on. But the lovemaking had always been in my own head. The caller was suggesting something else, and I was running again.
I thought about him almost constantly for two days.
——-To Be Continued—– all rights reserved