All alone on the telephone


There sits Zuzu, all alone by the telephone, thinking about picking it up and dialing. Zuzu is mad again, Zuzu is feeling betrayed. She picks up the phone, looks at the missed calls, checks for unheard messages. Nothing.  Bastard, she thinks. She puts the phone down and goes to the kitchen. Looks at the list she’s had laminated and put on the refrigerator door with magnetic tape. The list of things not to do. Number one on the list is do not sleep with strangers. Dammit, she thinks. Zuzu thinks maybe her list is a little restrictive, but she remembers having thought that before and regretting it later. So she calls her neighbor, Mark, who lives next door and listens to Fox News at top volume day and night. He’s hard of hearing and Zuzu knows from personal investigation that he does not have caller ID. She’s been calling him during the O’Reilly Factor a couple times a week to try and get him to donate to various liberal causes, using assorted accents and fabricated organizations. She’s not exactly hoping he’ll pop a vein, but she is happy that they both feel put out by hearing something outside of their own choir at least once in a while. He picks up. In the background, Zuzu can hear huffing and puffing and pontificating on the TV both over the line and through the wall, which is vibrating. For whatever reason, Mark never just lets it ring, nor does he hang up when he realizes it’s another one of those calls. Instead, he immediately repeats the talking points of the day over and over again until between O’Reilly and Mark there’s a resonant, chanting mantra – white man, brown woman, socialist, failure, terrorist. The rant begins to hum and buzz and throp like a sound whipping by on a train, clicking on the tracks and dragging the chattering chains through the line until she doesn’t hear words anymore, just the sound of anger. This is her one lone pleasure tonight, sitting here all alone by the telephone. Zuzu needs to find something to do.

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