Learning To Love You More




Assignment #52
Write the phone call you wish you could have.

Oakland, California USA



Me: Hello?
Joe: Don't hang up.
Me: Joe?
Joe: Please. Don't hang up.
Me: (Pause.) Fine.
Joe: It's over. It's all over. You don't have to hang up.
Me: I have every reason to believe that you'll relapse again. You fucked up last time.
Joe: I was doing it for all the wrong reasons last time.
Me: And now?
Joe: I have forty days. I've been to a meeting a day, every day. I wouldn't tell you this unless I was solid, unless I was sure. I'm sure. It's over. This time, I'm getting clean because I want to. I want to have a life.
Me: I want you to have a life. But I'm still skeptical.
Joe: I'm talking to my parents again. I'm on the phone to them every night. I've gotten away from thee people I used with. I'm working the program. I want my life back. There are so many things I care about.
Me: I know. I mean, I remember.
Joe: There are so many people that I care about.
Me: Remember what you said the last time I saw you? You said that your entire life used to be built around your family, your sobriety, and me. And that you'd realized that none of those things really mattered.
Joe: I said those things because I was using. No that I'm clean, I realize how fucked up that was.
Me: It was.
Joe: I'm sorry.
Me: You never say you're sorry.
Joe: I'm sorry. You're the last person I ever want to hurt. Unless you're into that, of course. (Laughs.)
Me: (A little smile.) I forgive you.
Joe: Really? Because I would understand if you didn't.
Me: I do. I'm sorry, too. I'm so happy that you're clean.
Joe: I'm happy, too. I want to have a life. And I want you to be in it.
Me: I want to be in it. (Pause.) And I'm sorry, too. You were right about a lot of things.
Joe: You were right about a lot of things.
Me: Things happened that never should have happened.
Joe: I'm glad they happened.
Me: Me, too.
Joe: I miss you.
Me: I miss you, too.