Waiting for sound. Something to strike a blow to another object. A phone ringing in the middle of the night. Opossum scurrying down the alleyway. Opening trash dumpsters. The lid hits the steel and makes a noise. Waiting for sound.
He laid in bed wanting sleep to take him in. Dead silence. The only noise was his stomach growling. Making sounds of hunger. He had not eaten for two days. Alone that whole time with no noise. It was two o’clock in the morning. The phone rang.
Hello, he said. There was no response. I said, hello, he raised his voice. Still, nothing. Do you want to talk? he asked. Do you have something to say? he demanded. There was nothing on the other end. No breathing, no coughing, not a sneeze, no words. Just silence.
I said hello, he said again. Hello…hello…hello…Are you there? No response. I knew a girl like you once, he stated. She didn’t like to talk either. We would sit there for hours with nothing to say to one another. We didn’t even look at each other in the eyes. We would just sit there on a park bench, or, down in her parent’s basement on the sofa watching television. We wouldn’t laugh. Looked straight forward at the TV. Game shows where people won prizes, he said. The person hung -up.
Hey. Are you there? the phone was dead. Damn thing, he thought. He looked at his clock. Two-thirty in the morning. His stomach still growled. He laid there staring up at the ceiling. The light post outside shined in on his room. His blinds were closed except for a small gap where the light came through. He turned his head and looked at the light shining on his floor. Brown carpet had become yellow. Glowing. The phone rang again.
Look, he said. If you’re going to keep calling I have to know who I’m talking to. It’s just polite that you tell me. Who are you? Again, no response. Is this Rita? Why are you calling me, Rita? Did your man leave you? Are you lonely? Answer me God damn it. Who is this? It’s the middle of the night. Call me back when the sun is out. Say around noon. I’m going to hang up now, he said. On the count of three. One…Two…, again, the person hung up on him.
A train whistle was heard. It was four o’clock in the morning. The phone rang. This time he just let it ring. He did not answer. His stomach growled. He laid there in bed. Looking at the phone. It would not stop ringing.