There was no ledge or spilled pills lying around. Not a good sign.
I was called away from my twentieth attempt at writing a short story in the style of Kurt Vonnegut. Soon I would have enough material for a book entitled Short Stories Not Worthy of Kurt Vonnegut.
I arrived at her place, a breach of every rule concerning interventions but after so many telephone conversations it was important to her that I was reminded of her physical beauty.
I sat across from her and told her I had all night. I told her to point to where I needed to make the incision. I promised to suck the poison out. She pointed to between her eyes and asked me this once to ignore her delicious candy shell.
I love the rush when a story starts to arrive. I never know if I’m looking at the start or the ending and maybe that’s my favorite time.
I’d had the training. The steps. Calm them down. Stay positive. Never blame yourself for whatever happened. She was no different but it never does any good to tell them that. After enough calls I told her that.
It seemed to help.
Sometimes the words are like misbehaving children assembled before a substitute teacher. However a more gifted wordsmith would put it, I would always be a literary substitute teacher. I was becoming OK with that.
I wasn’t even the best one manning the phone most nights. I actually felt a sluggish sort of pride the first night she asked for me in particular. The similarities between myself and a phone sex operator aside, I couldn’t help but feel that many times I was either called right before a 900 number or right after. Mostly after was my hunch.
She got better. She told me so. She called to tell me so. And to offer to buy me a drink. As soon as I arrived I knew it was just so she could see me see her.
Perhaps she felt she would jump to the front of the line. She didn’t realize there was rarely a line. Although there would be if people were less afraid of what strangers thought of them. I would have called the hotline myself if I wasn’t aware of just how sad the place really was.
When a story starts to come you have to drop everything. If you’re driving, you pull over. If you’re in the shower, you get out because these ideas are so simple to get but so darn difficult to hold onto.
Sometimes, most of the time, sometimes anyway, you can look all you want but you’ll never find the puzzle pieces. There will be very recognizable holes in the puzzle but try as you might you can’t fill them. She had other holes to fill though. We all do but her chocolate looked sweeter than most.
I wasn’t sure whether it was bravery or cowardice that had me wanting to leave and never look back.
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