Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Phone call


“Hi. It’s me.”

“Hi, James.” He sounds strange. “How are you?”

“I’m okay. How are you?”

“I’m trying to write a stupid fucking union report. I’ve been at it for hours…”

“Oh, sorry. Sorry to interrupt. I just wanted to let you know that I’m okay.”

“Excuse me?” I have absolutely no idea what he’s talking about.

“I just wanted you to know I’m okay.”

He’s speaking much too quickly. “Sorry, but I don’t know what you mean.”

“I was in a car crash, but I’m okay.”

My heart stops. “What? When were you in a car crash?”

“Just now. S. and I were driving to the mountain, and this other car ran a red light and drove right into us. It was going really fast.”

“Ohmigod.” I wonder if he’s in shock. He sounds like he’s in shock. “Is everyone okay? Are you okay?”

“I’m okay. That’s why I called. To tell you I’m okay. The cars are gone, though. Both cars are gone.”

I think about the word gone. “What do you mean?”

“They’re totalled. The airbags were completely fucking useless. Mine was like a flaccid penis. I was just staring at this flaccid penis, and then S. said, ‘get the fuck out of the car.’ He smelled smoke and thought the car was going to explode. So I got out of the car.”

“Fuck.” I light a cigarette. “But you’re okay?”

“Yeah, I’m okay.” I hear him light a cigarette. “It was really bad, but I’m okay.”

“Thank god…”

“I could have died.”

“Yeah, but you didn’t.” Jesus Christ, he could have died. “You cheated death.”

“Yeah. I cheated death.” He inhales. “I should go. I just wanted to tell you that I’m okay.”

“I’m glad you’re okay. And I’m glad you called to tell me.”

“I should go.”

“Okay. Bye.”

Happy birthday, James. I can’t tell you how glad I am that you’re okay.


Frank said...

Glad to hear that he's OK.

Vila H. said...

I'm even more relieved since talking to S., who told me that the engine actually did catch fire. The stuff of nightmares, that...