Sunday, January 10, 2010


I called my land land
from my cell phone
to hear myself in stereo.
Hello, I said in both ears.
It's me. How are you,
I said. Fine, I said.
The land line beeped
with a call waiting.
I put myself on hold
to answer the other call.
It was my friend in Rome
calling me on Skype.
He had gone there to convalesce
in the warm Mediterranean sun,
and had recently pgraded his account
to call land lines.
I asked how many land lines
he called nowadays,
since everyone was going mobile.
More than you'd think, he said.
I'd think you'd call about three people,
I said. He said, nope. I said,
about five? Wrongo, he said.
Well, how many then, I asked,
but before he could tell me
I remembered about my other line.
Hold on, I said, be right back.
Sorry about that, I said aloud
to myself. But I think I had stayed
on the other line for so long
that I had pissed me off.
I was beginning to apologize
when my cell phone vibrated.
It was another call coming in,
this one from my wife.
Be right back, I said, and clicked
the green phone icon. Hi Honey,
I said. When are you coming home
from work, she said. I don't know,
I said. I'm busy.
My lines have rung all day.
I'll call you back, I said,
and then switched back over
to my first call
where I'd been growing more and more
impatient with myself.
You put me on hold for forever.
No I didn't, I said.
Yes, you did, and you forgot
that I had my friend in Rome
on the other line the whole time,
you big dickhead, I screamed.
I hung up one phone and then the other.
I felt superior, then inferior.

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