Do you know what time it is?
Did I wake you?
You always woke me. You’d call from all over. Jackson, Shreveport, Indio, Bangor, calling at all hours of the night. Where are you?
Where at in California?
Oakland. I wanted to see a baseball game.
There’s baseball in Cleveland.
I know that. Just wanted to hit the road.
How’d you get there?
Took a Greyhound. Saw some real pretty country. Haven’t been out West much. Farthest I ever got was Colorado.
You didn’t call me at two in the morning to tell me about your travels. What do you want?
Liz. I’m in a jam. I’m out here with no money. I spent it all.
Bus. Food. A hotel a couple of nights. I think I got a twenty left. I’ll pay you back on the first.
What happens on the first? Some kind of miracle?
Do you understand the meaning of divorce?
That means we’re done. You call me in the middle of the night with this crazy story. You’ve always had crazy stories. Taking off at all hours. Weeks without hearing from you. Or, knowing anything about you. Like you were a spy or something. Are you on your meds?
No. I’m not. They were making me fat. Making me sweat. A real unpleasant man to be around. There are other details, but I won’t get into that. I just need five hundred. And, I’ll pay it back to you. Every dime.
I gotta talk to Mark about this.
Who is Mark?
My boyfriend. We tell each other everything. A real honest relationship.
Where’s he tonight?
Don’t worry about him. Worry about yourself. Let me see how he feels about it.
You need his permission?
I’m getting off the phone now.
Wait. I’m sorry. You were the only person I could call about this. I need help.
Do you need to check into a hospital?
I don’t know.
Think you do.
Sound manic. Like that time, you called me from Pittsburgh. Saying all kinds of things. Crazy talk.
You been drinking?
Maybe a little. Not much.
You were sober for a long time. Least, that’s what you told me. Made-up stories. Lies. You told some whoppers.
Liz. I’m sorry.
I gotta go. This is your number?
I’ll call you in a few days.