Monday, March 22, 2010

Male Call (Richmond, VA)

I have a free hour and decide to catch up with a coupla folks I know and love, relatives and friends I haven't spoken to in way too long. Most of them are not available when I call, so I leave messages; some try to call back but the phone (not me, for a change)is busy....

I dial D's number, feeling quite guilty. I had received an email at least a month ago that she'd had surgery and people were organizing to bring her food and help out with whatever she needed. I made a mental note to call, visit, whatever -- but promptly lost it. So, I call her cell phone, hoping she's out and about and better than ever.

A man answers. "Johnny?" I ask, although it sure doesn't sound like her son.

"No. Bob," the man responds.

My mind bobs around. Is this a new boyfriend or -- oh, my G-d! -- she's had to hire help or the relatives have come in to take care of her or...

"Can D come to the phone?" I cry. "Is she okay?"

"I don't know," Bob says. "There's nobody here by that name....But I like your voice!"

I'm flustered and surprised. I guffaw and guffive, apologize for dialing the wrong number, hang up, and call the right one.

It's not the first time I've been told that I give good phone.

Years ago, while working for a magazine distributor, I'd talk with a Wisconsin-based publisher several times a month. In my mind's eye, I envisioned him as a handsome hunk.

My mind's eye has always needed glasses.

When the publisher eventually came to a meeting with me in New York City (business only, I assure you), the result was what usually happens when starry imagination clashes with stark reality.

We looked at each other and actually laughed.

"I thought you'd be tall and blond," I said. "And gorgeous," I didn't say.

"I thought YOU'd be tall and blond!" he said. "And gorgeous,' he didn't say.

We were both short, dark, bespectacled, and not quite as good looking (by a long shot) as our voices had made us out to be.

These days my (temporarily) husky voice is obviously sending out a garbled message about what I look like. Like Bob, other men seem quite pleased to hear from me. A police-officer colleague has told me that I'd be able to earn a nice living by working certain phonelines at night -- a possibility, perhaps, if I should lose my day job.

I think I did Bob a great favor by hastily hanging up the phone on him; in his mind's eye, the woman who called him can be anyone he wants her to be. His dream- woman: a tall, willowy blond? A buxom brunette? A randy redhead? Whatever! I allowed him to keep his fantasy alive. And because he'll never meet me, he won't even know how badly he needs glasses.


  1. 你不能決定生命的長度,但你可以控制它的寬度 ..................................................

  2. Google's translation of the above comment: Masterful, long time and non-life decisions, warding 你可 寬度 以控 它的 system
    My response:
    I guess you could say that....

  3. I enjoyed this post. Made me laugh about giving good phone! I love the way you write.