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CALL OF THE DAY: it hasn’t happened yet, but it will

This call hasn’t happened yet, but it will, unless my boss was right and the company can’t survive without me for longer than 24 hours. I think she’s wrong. I have plenty of empirical evidence that the company can in fact survive without me for upwards of four and a half months.

That was last summer, of course, and who knows, maybe business really has gotten worse. Maybe the downward slide continued, the one she has been talking about for years, and maybe my two weeks away, while I recovered from putting up a new play, were the last straw.

But let’s assume for the sake of jamming this article out before I collapse back onto the bed, let’s assume that the company is still there, and at some point tomorrow, my first day back on call since April 21, I will get my Call of the Day.

It’ll be my first call of that day, my first call back, after I answer the phone and chat awkwardly with my boss, who will have been cultivating for nearly two weeks her resentment of my daring to take time off, who will make a few digs at me that she laughs off as jokes, and then rattle off the caller’s details too quickly and get frustrated at me for not being able to keep up. For a few tight-lunged seconds I will panic, like, maybe I forgot how to do this, even though, again, I’ve come back after four and a half months. I won’t forget.

It’ll be just like riding a bike, one with a kinda uncomfortable seat that veers just enough to the right that I can’t ride it with no hands, but I’ll get back on it and go, oh yeah, I remember how to do this, but why didn’t I remember how uncomfortable this seat is? Oh, well, at least it’ll get me to where I need to go.

Maybe the Call of the Day will be Bilingual Papi. That’d be nice. That’s happened sometimes. I tell him the days that I’m coming back, and sometimes he remembers. German chocolate cake in my ass crack is not a bad way to start back up again. He’s getting a little demanding lately, getting back on his anxiety kick as we approach summer touring season and my lesser availability, but that’s understandable after nearly seven years together, he gets separation anxiety, which is kinda flattering because seriously, it wouldn’t be difficult to just buy some German chocolate cake at the grocery store and cue up some online buttsex porn.

Maybe it’ll be Extreme Top. He never remembers when I’m going to be away. He gets confused easily when it comes to my times on the lines. I think he needs to cut down on his casual drug use. Or ramp it up, so he forgets about me completely. His calls are good money, though…

More likely the Call of the Day will be with someone utterly forgettable, not a regular, someone whose card I need to dig out to remember what they like, and even then it’ll be blank, I didn’t even have enough to write down the first time they called me. It’ll be a blank Call of the Day, a cold call, when I have to start over from scratch, even though I can see from the calling history that he and I have talked a dozen times before, we won’t remember each other, though.

It’ll be a seven-minute call, or maybe 10 minutes, a phone sex 10 minutes, which means he finishes two and a half minutes early or two minutes late. He’s not in touch enough with his self-pleasure rhythms to know how long it’ll take, how to delay orgasm, or maybe he’s circumcised and has developed Death Grip to compensate, Death Grip and a sense of entitlement, make me come, bitch.

And I’ll do my best with his blank index card in front of me and his horny, aggressive awkwardness on the other end of the line, and my best will almost certainly be good enough, because I’m overqualified and he will not have very discriminating tastes.

When the call is done, I will hang up and note down the time, and then stare at my laptop screen for a few unseeing moments. I will be done with it, for the millionth time, and my heart will be so tender, for reasons that I can’t tell you or my callers about. And sitting there with my tender heart and my naked ambition and my reluctant acknowledgement of the socio-economic forces that are currently holding me in place…

I will let out a sigh and blink back the tears and get up and start another coffee. Calls of the Day, to me, have become less about excitement and more about making myself remember. There is more to my day than this.

*****

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