The Cell Phone Story

The Farewell
The Return
Thanks and Dedication

"American Ghost Dance"

There is a memory
That lives in my blood
Of the brand you laid
On all you touched
But the burning flame
Turns to burning pain

Bags of groceries line a counter that is hardly her own. In the background, a baby is crying, and she can hear the distant strains of a mother's lullaby as her sister works to calm the child. To the right, a television speaks of drowning children and war in a foreign country.

With a sigh, she moves to turn the television off, knowing that she has more than enough war in her own home.

A hand steals into the leather purse to retrieve her cell phone, an object which has remained silent for days on her command. The phone finds new solace in her pocket as she begins to unpack the supplies her sister has sent for.

The monotony would be unbearable if she wanted any time to herself, but she knows all too well that spare time means thought, and she has no need for thoughts, because the thoughts always lead to him.

When all the groceries are secure in their respective cabinets, she moves across the hall to her bedroom where she can rest in pieces and allows herself to remove the phone.

Days have become weeks and she has ignored the calls, ignored his hopeful voice on the other end of every answering machine. There was never a reason to listen, but today, there is too much pain and more reason and she needs to stir the coals of anger so she doesn't answer the next time he calls.

Her fingers dial the number before her longing can register, and his voice is in her ears as soon as the beep of the last digit fades.

"Sam? Sam, it's me. Listen, I know you don't exactly want to hear from me right now, but I really need to talk to you. If you'd just let me explain..."

She wants to listen, wants to call, but knows well enough that he cannot say anything to make things right, and so she deletes the message.

"Sam, it's me. I'd really, really like to talk to you. What's not what you think, baby. Just give me a call..."

Her finger finds the number seven blindly and pushes twice, relieving her of the pain for a moment, and then...

"Sam? Baby, please pick up the phone. I know you're there..."

Another push of the button, and his voice is merely a memory.

"Sam, this isn't funny anymore. If you don't ever answer me, I can't ever tell you how sorry I am, and..."

It doesn't matter how sorry you are. She deletes the message with a satisfying beep.

"Sam, it's Nick. I'm sorry. Really, really sorry. I just need to..."


"Samantha, baby, I miss you. Please call me? Or at least pick up..."




"Sam, I..."


"Sam, I love you. More than you know. Enough to sit here and dial your number over and over knowing that you're not going to pick up. I know you're not listening to these messages, but maybe you'll listen to this one. I'm sorry. So fucking have no idea. Or maybe you do. Maybe you're as sorry as I am, but you shouldn't be. Sam, we can work through this. You mean more to me than..."

But she doesn't want to know. She doesn't want to compete anymore with the lifestyle of a rock star, and so she ends the call. There are many more messages, but there are equally as many tomorrows.

With that thought, she draws the covers, hoping that he is as lonely as she.

"American Ghost Dance"
lyrics and music by the Red Hot Chili Peppers