Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Calling


Several days after receiving Jackie’s last e-mail I was in the office at 8:30 AM. I closed the door to avoid the inevitable interruptions as my crew came in around 9. I called her cell at 11:30 AM her time. She answered and it was the first time I had heard her voice in twenty-four and a half years. I would have recognized that voice instantly if she had placed a blind call to me in the middle of the night. She just didn’t sound much different than how I remembered. Amazing.



But, she couldn’t talk to me at the moment. She was out of the office showing a house to a couple. It was one of those conversations where one person can’t speak freely so I asked her several silly questions and she answered in bright, chipper, non-sequiters. Eventually I said, “How do your clients like riding around in that old, beat-up Rambler?” Her *answer* was “Are you sure you want to make a counter offer on that property Mr. Wilson? *pause* Could you call me back later-- say in an hour and a half— to work out the details?” I, of course, responded that she had to talk to me this very minute or our deal was done. She said, “That will be good. I’ll talk to you then.” And she pushed the END CALL button.


I meant to call her back, I really did, but I got buried in the usual work stuff. Just after 7 PM my private line rang. I recognized my old home town area code in the caller ID window. It wasn’t Kendra, or Jane… but nobody else had this number.

“Hello?” I asked.

“Hi, Wil. God, I’m so glad you’re there,” Jackie said.

“When did I give you this number?”

“You didn’t. I just had my cell phone call back the number from when you called me this morning. They can do that you know.”

“So I’ve heard. It was great to hear your voice this morning,” I said.

“I loved that silly conversation. I was mad you didn’t call back, but I sold the house so I got over it,” she said.

“Good. You know what it’s like—I got buried in junk. Where are you? It’s after 10 there,” I said.

“I’m at a Sunoco station about ten minutes from the house. Told my husband that I was going out to get gas so I didn’t need to in the morning… some bullshit... I can't talk long. Jesus Wil, I can’t believe I’m talking to you. Is this your work number?” she said.

“It’s a private line in my office… almost nobody has the number. I was going to give it to you if you were good— it bypasses the switchboard during the day. So… a husband, huh? Interesting,” I said.

“Second marriage. The first one didn’t last long but I got a great daughter from him. She’s 22 and a senior at _______University. I was single for a long time after the divorce and then remarried three years ago,” Jackie said.

“Why?” I asked.

“Why what?” she asked.

“Why did you get married to a guy you don’t love?” I asked.

“I didn’t say that,” she said.

“Yes you did. You just left him at home watching TV or building model airplanes or something and went off to a gas station so you could call some guy from your past that you located on the Internet. That’s not a Romeo and Juliet type scene exactly,” I said.

“You don’t understand. I do love him. I can’t explain it to you now on the phone… but it isn’t about me not loving him. It’s about more stuff… it's not as easy as you make it sound,” Jackie said.

“Jackie, I think the world of you, I always have, but you need to understand this. I’m separated… totally devoted to my kids… I work all the fucking time I'm not with the kids and, I'm also in love with a woman who lives 500 miles from me who I never get to see anymore. I’m not a great guy to, ya know, get back together with…” I said.

“You sure didn’t learn much from our time together. The one thing you should have gotten out of that messy ending was not to have a long distance love affair ever again,” she said with the hint of a smile in her voice.

“True. So what about getting together with someone 3,000 miles away? How dumb is that?” I asked.

“I don’t know. I just want to see you. Can’t we see each other again? You must come back here to see your parents… right?” she said.


Long pause filled with cell phone noise.

“I do. And the next time I do you and I are going to go out for a drink or dinner or something,” I said.

“Good. That’s all I wanted to hear,” Jackie said.

“And you’ll explain to me why you dumped me like a worthless sack of shit back then,” I said brightly.

“You are such a mean bastard. I knew I could count on you. Gotta go now. Bye!” she said. And then the line was dead. She sounded happy as could be when she called me a mean bastard.

23 comments:

Cheating Wife said...

Fantastic...I like her so much more now! LOL

;-)

asweetnectar said...

Soooooo when are we going home?? What were you feeling after that conversation???

Coquette said...

You're such mean bastard!

Coquette said...

Hmmm... that DID make me feel happy.

But it may be better over the phone. If you send me your private number, you can be in my next celebrity line-up.

Wil said...

CW- Oh, you would!

Nectar- The very next post. Promise.

What I was feeling was, "I'm in my mid-40's and I don't understand women." Today I'm thinking, "I'm in my mid-50's and I still don't understand women." I think I should stop putting them on a pedestal... to look up their skirts.

Coquette- Glad I could finally do something for you, dear. As for my phone number, it's written on ladies' room walls all over North America-- and South America come to think of it. All you have to do is ask. But I know what Coquette means, you flirty tease. ;-)

L. said...

God, she's adorable, but the teller tells her well: "Are you sure you want to make a counter offer on that property Mr. Wilson?"

And I'm gonna say I *know* you guys met up again because you cast her in your movie-meme thing as she looked in the mid-90s. Not the 70s.

There's also little snippets you throw out, like so: "I'm also in love with a woman who lives 500 miles from me who I never get to see anymore." Yo, whassup? I'm looking forward to *that* story, too.

Do we get a Hollywood ending somewhere, Wil? Just one. That's all I ask.

Wil said...

L.- You are so wise. I almost didn't do that casting meme because it gave away too much stuff. Don't tell anybody though.

About those Hollywood endings, one of my favorite movies of all time is "The Wild Bunch". They pretty much all die in the penultimate scene. But I'm still alive, so that's good, right?

I like that people here like "Jackie". It means that I'm capturing her correctly because she is...

Ms. Inconspicuous said...

Whoa, whoa, whoa...

Because she stole away from her husband to call you, she didn't love her husband?!

*Shakes head*

I hope you've learned better by now.

Kyra said...

I like that people here like "Jackie". It means that I'm capturing her correctly because she is...

Is what, Wil?

Because she is...
Your current wife?
Your current girlfriend?
The love of your life?
Married to your brother?
Not a serial killer?

Just teasin', darlin'.

Love the exchange while she was working. Always fun to do that to someone.

College said...

She sounds amazing. I've only meet a couple girls like her...they always leave you feeling dizzy with excitement and a tendency for making rash decisions that leaves you out of the picture. Maybe i'm reading my story here....projected out twenty four years out. Continue On...

pitseleh said...

i am putting in a formal request that your entries be 3 times as long as this one so i can know already what happens. youre killing me here

Cate said...

I wouldn't call you a 'mean bastard' but I can think of quite of few other things to describe you...

Cate xxx

Tiffany Cavalli said...

lovely! its going somewhere! yummy! and a stunning photo.. almost as good as mine! :) love Tiff

Wil said...

Ms. I- I am trying to report the actual events/ dialog. I'm not trying to pretend I was/ am wise. Plus, just because I said that to her doesn't mean I believed it to be true even then. Hang with me here, just a bit.

One problem with my time traveling here is that nobody saw the aftermath (yet) of our breakup. I went straight from that event to 24+ years later. Some blanks will be filled in later.

Wil said...

Kyra- I actually was just trying to say that she is someone any sane person would like. If lots of people didn't like her through this portrayal it would prove to me that I can't write worth squat.

College- Nobody reads anything without applying their own filter.

Wil said...

Pitseleh- I'm truly sorry but I can barely get these little dribs and drabs out as it is. :-)

Cate- Get my private line number and tell me. Hearing it in your own voice would be interesting.

Tiffany- Oh, it's going somewhere. That much I know. Thanks for your interest.

ez cheese said...

I can almost see her punching you in the arm again.

Coquette said...

Oh, you often do something for me, darling. Doesn't "coquette" mean "a very small cock"?

Wil said...

EZ- Yeah. She was "Still The Same", when I caught up with her yester... You probably know that song.

Coquette- No. That's cockette, silly. Or cockatoo. I'm not sure. But, smile when you say that, lady.

Tiffany Cavalli said...

always a pleaure popping in to see you Wil... its thurs.. you always irritate Heff by thurs... are you on track? im popping over there to check! :) love Tiff

swingerwife said...

I just found your blog and am rather captivated...think I need to go dip into your archives a bit, if you don't mind...

Wil said...

Tiffany- If I'm irritating anybody I'm unaware of it.

Swingerwife- welcome. Take as long as you need.

Riff Dog said...

“How do your clients like riding around in that old, beat-up Rambler?” is fucking brilliant!

Now, I'm thinking "mean bastard" is not a good thing? ;)