Thirty Seconds

i.

Hey! Just calling to check in.
I didn’t want to call too soon!

I was hoping to catch you at home.
It’s good to hear your voice
on the answering machine, anyway!

I know I’ve only got thirty seconds,
so I won’t ramble too much.
I really enjoyed seeing you again
last week. It’s been so long!
hard to believe we haven’t talked
since we were in grad school.

Look, I know you’re really busy
with your kids, and your job.
I don’t want to make life harder
for you, but I just wanted you

beep



ii.

Hey! It’s me again. Damn!
Was that really thirty seconds?

I don’t know where your machine
cut me off, but I want you to know
that I don’t want to make life harder
for you. I just wanted to tell you
that I really feel— That I really—

You know, I can’t believe
that I didn’t understand
what was happening that night.
Or that you didn’t understand
either. I guess we were just kids!

But that’s water under the bridge,
and I really don’t want to live

beep



iii.

Hey. It’s me. I’m such an idiot.
I must have really sounded
depressed when I called earlier.

Thanks for sending the cops
around, but no—I’m not suicidal.
I guess the answering machine
just cut me off at a bad place.

But using the wrong medium
for important messages
is one of my worst habits.
Like when one of my handwritten
notes to you got intercepted
in tenth-grade English.
Do you remember that?
Talk about embarrassing.

But that’s not

beep



iv.

—uck! Fuck! Fuck!

No! Wait! I didn’t mean to say that!

Crap. I hope that you aren’t
just screening your calls,
letting me ramble like a moron.

Shit, I didn’t sound like this
over dinner, did I? Christ.

Look. I just think it would be great
if we could—

Wait. I’ll call you back.
Someone’s at the door.



v.

Hi. It’s me.

Wow. What can I say?
Thanks for stopping by.

Talking with you in person
was way, way better
than answering-machine tag.

I’ll shut up now—
see you Tuesday!

About Greg Wright

I have worn many hats as a writer and editor over the years. Unlike my scholarly and journalistic work from the "old days" at Hollywood Jesus, Past the Popcorn, or SeaTac Blog, the writing here is of a more overtly personal and spiritual nature. I hope it provokes you as much as it provokes me.
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