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2004-06-29 - 5:16 p.m.

I’ve spent the last two weeks with my phone off.

I never meant it to happen. I went to my new nephew’s christening a couple weeks ago, (I do need to stop calling him my new nephew, if only to save the feelings of the old nephews.) and accidentally left my charger in my parent’s basement. Since my parents basement is now synonymous with “playroom” the charger has probably already been gummed, thrown, beaten, and possibly used as a tiara by now.

I’m sure at this point my phone mailbox is full. Containing messages like:

“Please return your copy of Pride and Prejudice to your local Blockbuster, in the name of the last remaining shreds of your masculinity.”

“Hello John, this is Sheila, the extremely attractive red-head you met at the bar last night. I’ve moving to Paris tomorrow, but I thought tonight...”

“You Pay! You Pay now! I see you on street, I call cops!” - I receive this message every month. It’s addressed to some guy named Abe, and no amount of phone calls informing them that I am not Abe will stem the tide.

Still there has been a comforting quiet in my apartment. I get home and there are no invitations to parties I’d rather not attend, nor are there desperate calls from friends intent on using my connections at CompUSA to get their father’s day gifts cheap.

It’s quiet.

I’ve been enjoying a loneliness banana split, with a dollop of bitterness, for the last few months, and somehow the serene setting of actually being alone seems to help. Feeling shitty, underappreciated, or unloved while in the company of up to thirty people more than capable of loving, appreciating or...un...unshitting me, makes it all that much worse.

Little pangs of guilt spring up every now and again, knowing that quite a few people I actually like are leaving messages and feeling neglected. If you are one of these people, and you’re reading this: please gather my apologies like wild posies...wild posies in a glowing summer field glistening with dew...(Hoping bright happy images will deter you from swearing bloody vengeance on my little person. Did I mention the bunnies?) A field, brimming with floppy, twitchy nosed, rambunctious rabbits...and they all love you.

Most nights now, I pour myself a whiskey on the rocks, and a glass of milk, (Whiskey and milk go well together, or at least that’s what I learned as a baby when my mom wanted me to go to sleep post haste) and then head out onto the fire escape. The sun is still out and the breeze is just mild enough. The man in the next apartment is watching the news topless again. The soccer team from the apartment complex next door is standing on the front stoop listening to someone’s boom box. The J train slithers by in the background reflecting the sun into my eyes from yet another angle.

“Hello, you’ve reached my voicemail. Please enjoy the view, and leave a message after the beep.”

Beep.

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