I have had a phone a long time, almost as long as I can remember. I even have a cell phone. But I’ve never gotten one. I’m in the phone book. I know there are a lot of perverts. There are a lot of perverts. Perverts everywhere. I see them everyday. All of them have phones. I’m in the phone book. I’m even on the bathroom wall. Unless someone erased it. But then again, I wrote it tiny. What the hell? I even give perverts my phone number. I say to them, “give me a call sometime, pervert.” Nothing.
I want an obscene phone call. An obscene phone call is like coming home to find some naked stranger sitting in your kitchen chair, naked and dirty. Then you realize you want them to leave, because they’re nakedier and dirtier than you thought they would be and so you try and chase them with broom, but they just sit there as obdurate as a garden rock that won’t scare. So you leave for a while, because, what the hell? You end up sitting alone in car dealership because you’ve got no place to go and there’s a naked stranger in your home. Later, everything is closed and you drank coffee, even though you’re not supposed to because you’re in a coffee shop and what the hell? And so you go home like you’re going to the crypt of Dracula, even though Dracula wore clothes and you at least knew what name Dracula went by: Dracula. And god you hope the lights work and you try and think of what to say as you go up the stair, but don’t come up with anything and when you unlock the door and peer in the kitchen no one is there and what the hell? And you hope that they’ll call you, but they never do.
I want my obscene phone call. At first, I’ll be shocked. A lot of the language will be wrong. Some ideas will be expressed in poor choice of words. Things will be phrased in a way I find, derogatory or misleading. But the whole thing is going to come pouring into my ears and my ears will turn red and hot against the receiver. There will be a lot of suggestions. These suggestions will be impractical, but I won’t be able to help listening to them. The whole thing will be vaguely insulting, and at some point I’ll hang up. But then I’ll stay there looking at the phone and thinking: what the hell?
It won’t really be sexually arousing, but it will change what I wear for the next week.
Sometimes I even call my friends, people I know and tell them, “I’ve just received the most obscene vulgar phone call.” My friends and people I know are usually quite shocked and full of advice and admonitions on how to handle this situation, to call the police, the phone company, get caller ID, have a man answer the phone, etc. After awhile, however, they become less interested and more skeptical, and I don’t blame them because some of them eventually ask me to describe what they said and I can’t think of anything, because I’ve never had one. I just say it was really, really shocking. You should have heard it. Where did they get your number? They ask. Probably from the bathroom wall, I tell them. You mean in your house? They ask. What the hell?
I’m tired of waiting. If I could call myself on the phone I would. I’d call at an odd time, like just after I’d started brushing my teeth or had one shoe on. I wouldn’t say anything. I’d hold the phone like a spider and wait for me to say something: “Hello?”
Then I’d start. I’d talk about all the things I knew about me. I’d say I could see me from where I was calling. I’d tell me I was holding a broken garden rake in my hand and a busted up candle. Then I’d make up a really upsetting story about what I was going to do with those things. Then I’d talk about other things, things I had seen the paper. Yeah. I’d use language from the movies. I’d call myself “baby.” “Baby, do you like that?” I’d ask. “Like what?” I’d ask. “Ah, you know,” I’d say, “you know what I’m talking about.” “No,” I’d say, ”what are you talking about, exactly?” “Yeah,” I’d say, “you like it, all right.” Then I would puff on some kind of cigar or cigarette or possibly a corn-cob pipe. I would blow smoke rings at the phone until my listening eyes watered. Then I would wink at the phone. I’d wink at the phone so hard I could hear it. Then I’d whoop like an Indian, a mad Indian with busted rake a cranberry candle from Thanksgiving. I’d make spooky Halloween noises. I’d say something really disturbing, and then there would be the sound of thunder, the squeaking of rats.
By the time the police came I’d be long gone. I’d laugh and turn up the collar on my filthy coat, slide down the banister, knowing I was mine. I could call me anytime. I had the number in my pocket.