Thursday, January 22, 2009

on the other end

Emily was looking forward to Archie's phone call. She wasn't sure why. Actually, she hated it a bit that she didn't want to have this feeling she might enjoy his company.

Of course, she disected this for hours. Thinking how could she want to have anything to do with someone like him when there was this dark past with his brother she'd somehow slipped from remembering, but on occasion it would creep up on her. And she really didn't want to discuss this with Archie. As it was he didn't discuss his brother at all.

"I think my cat is gay," Archie started in immediately on the phone.


"Yeah, I saw him trying to hump this other male cat other day when he was outside. I'm not letting him outside, anymore. I thought he just needed some fresh air, you know, cause you know how I keep house and all. I don't, and the next thing I know he's going at it with the neighbor's cat. You know, they have their occasional cat fight ever so often and then this. Maybe its the weather."

"Yeah, its the weather."

"God, its been so bad. All this ice and crap," Archie sighed then. Emily had a feeling he hadn't stopped smoking yet.

"So how many cigarettes are you smoking a day now?"

"Not that much." He made it sound like a promise. "Probably a pack."

"A pack of cigarettes?" That still sounded like too much to Emily.

"Well, I was up to two packs for a while. I was on a diet."

"You don't need to be on a diet," she told him.

"Yeah, yeah, I hear that all the time, but I was a fat kid, and I know I'll be fat again if I were to stop." Archie admitted. "It was all my grandfather's fault. He'd let me how two burgers for breakfast everyday. I still just can't eat one. Of course, his were the best."

"So you're cutting back on beef?"

"Definitely, you know, mad cow that kind of thing." The way he was rattling on she sort of wondered if he already had it. He could make her laugh, and she knew he didn't mean too.

She listened to his day. How he'd only talked to people, trying to make them feel at ease while giving blood. But other than that he hadn't said a word to anybody he worked with.

"Why not?"

"I just don't, people start gossiping about this one and that one. God knows, what they are saying about me. I'm sure nobody thinks I've combed my hair in days and they'd be right. I haven't." He paused then. Taking a drag off a cigarette. "At least you wouldn't find a mouse in my hair."

"What?" Emily blinked looking at the clock seeing it was going on close to mid-night. She'd cleaned up her mess in the kitchen and even brushed her teeth while he'd talked so long about blood and victims and so on. Now she was laying in bed snuggling under the covers.

"This supervisor I have. It was a few months ago. She has this wavy auburn shoulder length hair and we're talking when we got to work that morning, and I'm staring at her..and there it is nested up in her hair. And I just casually said, "Oh, by the way, you have a mouse in your hair. She was like..'what' and it jumps off her shoulder and runs away. She lives on a farm. It was strange. I got this sudden urge to ask her about sex life after that, but I didn't." He kept talking nonstop about nothing really. Emily would just catch herself getting bits.

"Aren't you tired?" She asked.

"Not in the least."

"How many cigarettes have you smoked during this phone call?"


"Archie? I don't want you smoking at all tomorrow when you call. Lets see if you can mange to go a whole hour without smoking," Emily said.

"Don't ask me to do something like that," he begged. "Its all I got."

"Am I going to have to come back and help you clean up your house?" She said out of the blue. How could he say that was all he had. His house with packed with piles of newspapers and everything else.

"Why would you do that?"

"Because I think you hord things." She told him.

"I do not." He was angry, suddenly. A long pause stagnated. Emily was pretty sure he'd hang up. "Its not my stuff. OK. I don't know what to do with it."

"Don't you have someone who could go through it with you?"

"I gotta go."

"OK," Emily said. "Do you want me to call you tomorrow night?"

"No." He hung up then.


Karine said...

Great post.Great dialogue.
I know that cigarettes ARE a way of scaping . I'm glad that Emily cares a lot about it.


A kiss!


Psyconym said...

I am not a religious person by any means, I just thought, well, I could rant about how I just lost my job, or I could find some comfort in the only part fo the Bible that speaks to me. Maybe it was a bit too personal. It also echoes Obamas speech. I was watching the inauguration, and I was impressed he used the phase 'childish things', very sermon like.

But yeah don't worry too much, it was me trying to change my perspective and nothing too deep.


diane said...

Archie needs to do some spring cleaning, and not just with his house.

Laleh and Lauren said...

I gotta wonder about his issues...

ellie said...

I liked this one. I like Archie.