Tuesday, November 02, 2010

I won't be taken

I won’t be taken. I won’t fall prey once more, for now it is my time, and I will shine and burn and with head held high leave intact, no, greater, broader, stronger, deeper than before, and I will make it my own.
It is my time. This turning point belongs to me and I will make it.

And if I really deeply, shiningly in my heart believed this, then it would at once be easy, be something little, a small bump in the road of life. But no, I don’t so this is the hero’s journey for me. This is a big one.

In front of me is a telephone. It is cheap and plastic, and dirty. It has great power over me. It and the damnable people that use the thing, that sit at the other end and judge and cajole and fail to listen to me.

Powerfully I take the receiver in hand. There’s the doleful sound of the dial-tone. I pause, of course, for enough time to boil a kettle. I don’t boil a kettle, I just try to summon the guts to take the next step.

A “you’ve got it wrong noise now”, and that woman, I nickname the wire says “Please hang up and try again. Please hang up and try again. ”, over and over until she abandons me with silence.
The line is dead, save for the whisper of white noise, sea sounds, that remain after she has left. I can imagine anything in that noise. I listen harder and it seems to grow and envelop me. The noise surrounds and comforts me.

You see, where by now I could be off into some great story or deep in a meaningful conversation, I’m pulling up the cool blanket of white noise and settling into failure, of not taking the step, and of befriending the noise of the wire instead and pretending it is sort of art. Bollocks to that.

Receiver replaced, I try again. The number. Ah, here it is, and for a moment I repel the distractions of the computer, the kettle downstairs, that slightly strange noise I can hear at the edge of my hearing and start to dial. Wow, only five attempts and I’ve got the number into the phone. I congratulate myself, basking in the glory of my power and plain forget that the phone at the other end is actually ringing. I’m so awesome that I want to tell somebody.

“Hello?” says the other end. It says it in a way that is quizzical, potentially critical and I’m shaken out of in-my-head world domination into gut-churning fear, a few milliseconds of complete failure; who am I calling and why? What do I want. Willpower and furrowing brow brings is back. I consult the menu in front me and go on tentatively:

“Can I order some food to takeaway?”
“Sorry, what?”
“Can I order some food to takeaway?”
“Must be a wrong number.”