unnamed story (Part 2)
Patti picked up on the first ring and was disappointed to hear Clay’s voice.
“I thought you were Ruth. She was supposed to pick me up twenty minutes ago” and with that launched into a story about how they were going to start Weight Watchers and Ruth needed it more than she did and that she only doing it to be supportive and
“I don’t think she’s coming” Clay cut her off.
Patti did not enjoy being cut off mid-story so she attempted again to launch into a story about how they were going to start Weight Watchers and Ruth needed it more than she did and that she only doing it to be supportive and
“Patti! Ruth isn’t coming! Nobody is coming! Everybody is gone” he interjected again and then heard the connection end.
Not only did Patti hang up, getting cut-off twice in a row was completely unacceptable, but she for a third time launched into the story to herself about how she and Ruth going to start Weight Watchers and Ruth needed it more than she did and that she only doing it to be supportive and god help anyone who tries to interrupt her again. Nothing is going to stop that train once it starts rolling.
A few minutes later Clay’s phone rang.
“Where is everyone?” Patti asked sheepishly.
It might be a little early to be thinking about this but let’s just hypothetically that this story becomes a beloved part of American literature. My name becomes synonymous with great writing and suddenly everybody wants a piece of me.
Ignore what I’ve written so far, obviously it’s not an outstanding start (you might say hyperventilating) and we’re both hoping it gets better. What I’m asking is that you just accept for a moment that it is wonderful and will make me famous. Suddenly the glasses I’m wearing might be worth something one day. I’d certainly pay a little cash to get the spectacles that sat atop Stephen King’s nose as he was writing The Shining and directed the light to the right spot on his cornea.
I suddenly have a new-found respect, borderline, reverence for my glasses.
After telling his wife about his own findings and wondering if he should tell her about the call from Denise his phone rang again.
He answered and found himself having a burst of déjà vu. Another feminine voice seemingly in the throes of a nervous breakdown.
“Oh thank god you’re alive!” the voice finally spit out. Then there was another burst of gibberish. Apparently not every reacts as gracefully as Clay to the reality that everyone has disappeared. He was finally able to calm her down enough to realize who he was talking to.
Tina. Another ex. This one in New Jersey.
“Where is everybody” she inquired at roughly ninety decibels. For those of you unfamiliar with decibels, ninety is about the noise a Boeing 737 makes as it lands if you are roughly a mile away. Loud stuff. I thought about cranking it up to one hundred and thirty decibels but credibility is important to me.
“I don’t know any more than you do Tina” and then, after a long pause “So how have you been?” Clay hadn’t spoken to Tina in going on a year. Her name showed up on his caller ID as Gary so as to avoid any questions from Patti should she somehow see his phone log. And by questions I mean “Why is that whore calling you?”
Tine seemed to skip over the recap of her past years activities and jumped right to the part where she asks where he was and could she drive over and meet him.
After a few seconds he replied “Of course”. He told her he was just heading back home and told her to meet him there. She inquired if Patti was still around and when he indicated that she was Tina sighed in such a way as to indicate that a day that had started with almost everyone she knew disappearing had just gotten worse.
Clay was almost home when his phone rang again. The caller ID said West Plumbing. West Plumbing was Donna. His old college sweetheart.
“Are you kidding me?”