Learning To Love You More




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

Ainsley Joy
Vancouver, British Columbia CANADA



Buddy: Hello?
Me: Hi.
Buddy: Hi! I've been wondering what your voice would sound like. It sounds familiar. I've been practicing my English vocabulary, can you tell? I've been studying so we could relate. Although I guess, in retrospect, I knew we would have to relate to each other. I have so much to say!
Me: There's so much I want to hear from you. But, first, are you okay now? Did you make it far enough? Is your heart better?
Buddy: It's fine! Can you believe that? It's perfect. I play all the time.
Me: Have you found a good place to live?
Buddy: Yeah, I've got a place. It's okay. It's very quiet. The landscape rolls without peaks or crags. There's no sky, only a warm, close air. It's crowded but never hostile as far as I can tell. I can't help feeling, in spite of it, that I've never seen any action, never felt any pain, never encountered an enemy or even bruised my own skin. What kind of complaint is that, though? It's luxury! Actually, aside from my yearning for distance and adventure, it's been great here. I'm learning very quickly, more and more each day, and I do a lot of swimming in my free time.
Me: Really? I never thought of swimming for you. I thought of running but like I said, never swimming. I guess I always imagined that you had drowned. I mean I had to make up morbid stories and tell myself some awful lies to account for the fact that we were never able to meet. But, you're swimming. That's fantastic!
Buddy: I'm sorry about the morbid stories. I wish you hadn't wasted your time. You should have told yourself that I was a ghost, not even a stranger, and that you were a ghost too. You should have said, “Nothing happened between us ghosts except that we passed through each other. That's all.” If you had told it that way, wouldn't it have been less painful?
Me: No. But you're right, I should have thought of it that way.
Both (simultaneously): Can we meet, soon?
Me (laughing): Yes… wait! Did you know that I loved you? Even though I made you up? I had activities and a library to share with you. I memorized the funny things you said to our friends, your unlikely but prodigious athletic skills, your uncompromising artwork. Your fearlessness. The way our heads rested together in the end. I even made detailed transcripts of the small arguments we'd have. I remember everything though nothing could have happened in the past. I compiled a book-length catalogue of hopes but I didn't record your features there because I didn't need pictures. I knew what you looked like.
Buddy: No you didn't, Silly, you couldn't have known that. I didn't have a face. But, it's okay. I'll live up to your stories anyway because I happen to know for a fact that you would never expect anything more of me than I could reasonably be. I know you'll find my reasonable being very good.
Me: Better than that, I'll find it perfect, as I've always suspected you'd be.
Buddy: Did I know that you loved me? I knew. You could say that. Or, you could say, I knew somehow that there was love and that there was a plot of time and we were on it, I at one corner and you at another, looking. I saw you from angles you couldn't imagine for acrobats. However, my heart condition and yours (I know about that, don't confirm or deny it) were refractory troubles; so, we bent necessarily to a fantasy that lasted and lasted, getting better and better until now. And, with that said, you understand, I could only know that you loved me, though you were nowhere and it was impossible.
Me: I understand.
Buddy: But soon it'll be over! The fantasy part, I'm talking about. When do we meet?
Me: July.
Buddy: Oh yeah, obviously. Then, I'll see you.
Me: Sleep tight.
Buddy: I do.
Me: Don't go!
Buddy: Don't worry. We were ghosts last time. This time, you'll be you and I'll be me. It'll work out. You don't get it yet, but it has always worked out the way we planned. Let me go, now. You won't miss me. Just remember to look forward, okay?
Me: I will. It's not an easy thing to do but I'll try because I trust you.
Buddy: I trust you too.
Me: That's what I wanted.
Buddy: See you.
Me: Bye.