Flipping through the pages mindlessly, she's reading. Reading, but she can't remember
what page she's on or what the words say or which book is sitting in her lap. Reading, but really thinking. Reading to escape
him and the little uncertainties running laps around the circumference of her skull.
her watch and knows it can't be him because it's never him and when it is him it always comes much, much later.
takes over and she can't remember whether company was better or worse for the lonely feeling in the pit of her stomach.
reach for the phone and she's answering it before she knows why.
The book falls to
the floor, forgotten amidst the sound of his voice and the beating of her heart.
"Yeah, baby, it's me.
I can't talk long because I've got the show in a couple of minutes, but I thought I'd go ahead and give you a call since I
haven't gotten to talk to you all week."
"Oh." But the length doesn't matter because he called and--for a moment, at
least--the little uncertainties are silent.
"Yeah, I'm here."
The nervous laugh is nothing like
the man she remembers. "Good. I was afraid you'd hung up on me for a minute there..."
how are you?"
"I'm...good, I'm good. You?"
"Eh, the usual. Tired. Busy. Not a lot of time."
having fun, right?"
"Of course. I love this. It...I don't know. I feel alive, Sam."
bothering you at the house?"
"Nope, no one." She doesn't tell him that she hasn't slept there in a week, that she couldn't
take the memories in the house and needed somewhere else to go.
"Good. I'm glad."
"How about you? How are things?"
Busy. Always busy."
"Seems like it."
"Yeah. Listen, I'm sorry you haven't heard as much from me."
fine, I understand." But it's not fine, and they both know it. Nonetheless, relief strokes his shoulders and repressed anger
pokes at her spine.
The conversation suffocates slowly between them.
baby, I've got to get onstage, but I'll talk to you later, okay?"
"You too." And
she does, but she can't quite remember why anymore.