When the phone rings

When the phone rings the tentacles, as coiled and long as the cord, reach out snaking through house, searching, begging, please, please, please be in a good mood. Please, please, please be relaxed enough to listen.

Should she phone on a Saturday afternoon – just far enough away from the stress of the week for her daughter to have unwound a bit? Should she phone on a Sunday evening? No, too risky; She’s beginning to think about Monday morning and she’s often resentful that her weekend is nearly over.

So sometimes she phones around just after dinner on a week night to fool Her. She’ll pick up because She won’t feel the tentacles reaching out to grasp Her; because the call is made on the turn of a sudden desire to hear Her; She’ll respond because the call is not coming after hours of wanting to phone and second-guessing phoning and hoping and delaying and then committing.

Her phone is faulty, it goes to voice machine too quickly. She says she can’t reach it in time and once it clicks to voice it can’t be retrieved or undone. That’s what She says. That happens again and again. But She never calls Telkom, She never gets a new phone.

And she won’t phone Her cellphone; that traitorous device tells Her exactly who is calling, but then She switches that off over the weekend.

She sits, she thinks, she hesitates, she dials.


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