Sometime in the night. Phone rings. Interrupts a dream.
In the dream my Centaur friend Barry and I are playing mini-putt against Friedrich Nietzsche and his Theory of Eternal Recurrence. Nietzsche breaks a lot of putters. He has a problem getting the ball through the Windmill. But the Theory putts like Ben Crenshaw in his prime. And the outcome is always the same. We lose by three strokes. And Nietzsche's moustache spikes the ball. Every. Single. Time.
I answer the phone.
A woman speaks.
"It's over, okay?” She says. “Done. Finished. Don't call me. Don't text me. Don't Facebook me. I told you-. Very simple. I told you-. All I wanted-. Between you and me. Me and you. All I wanted. Sex. You know. Bend me over and make me take the Lord's name in vain repeatedly sex. Simple, right? Instead. In-stead. You ask about my feelings. With such punishing patience and empathy. How are you feeling? You wanna know how I'm feeling? Pissed. Because you keep asking me how I'm feeling. Do I ask you how you're feeling? No. They're your feelings. Just like my feelings are my feelings. You can do whatever you want with your feelings. Whatever you want. My feelings. I keep them in a safe place. Somewhere nobody can get at them. I mean nobody. Not even me.
"Uh,” I say.
"I'm not finished,” she says. “Which, by the way, are words I wanted to hear from you a lot. And again. And a lot. I'm not finished. As you ride me like a racehorse. Instead you say things like I read that poem you gave me. It's really good. Keep writing. How incredibly condescending. Who are you? Yanni? The only reason I gave you the poem was to get you off my back. And onto my front. So you could plough me like a potato field.
"Let me finish you tyrannically sensitive, crushingly supportive a-hole. You really crossed the line when you wanted to cuddle. I. Don't. Cuddle. I thought the notarized letter from my attorney made that clear. If that wasn't enough how about when I bent back your middle finger until it snapped. Or when I bit into your arm and drew blood so that you had to go to the hospital and get stitches. Most guys would've gotten the message. You. You write on your Facebook wall. Why do I love my girlfriend so much? She keeps me in stitches. Your optimism is like a North Korean labour camp. Oppressive."
"Excuse me," I say.
"You've got the wrong number."
"When you answered you said hello. Brandon usually says hi so…" she says.
"I'm going back to sleep," I say.
"Can I ask you something?"
"How was that? What I said. How did it seem?"
“Yeah, I didn’t want him to think I didn’t care.”
“Yeah, I can see that. But not really. I have to go back to sleep,” I say. And hang up.
I get back into bed. Close my eyes.
And wonder what people mean when they say what they mean.
I also wonder where I put my Abe Maslow decoder ring.