Drunk Dialing

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Itsy-bitsy spider climbed up the water spout…

Grace sung softly to herself in the bedroom.

In the bathroom the sink counter was littered with crumpled squeeze tubes and scented bottles — all in hygienic disarray. Among this congestion was a fishbowl.

Down came the rain and washed the spider out…

The fish bowl had a gravel bottom of pink and blue. Standing askew in the middle was planted a red phonebooth in miniature. The colors were muted in the cloudy water. And it smelled a little rank. To all this, the goldfish was indifferent and floating upside down.

The bathroom light spilled into the bedroom where Grace sat on the edge of bed in her underwear.

Up came the Sun and dried up all the rain…

On the nightstand the clock radio flipped a digit. It was 9:13 PM. She was painting her toenails best as humanly possible with her back to the bathroom light, a cigarette dangling from her lips, and a couple a drinks down. A steady drip tapped from the bathroom shower.

And the itsy-bitsy spider…

With one knee pulled close she evaluated her work. Cherry-red, they were eight little candies — going on ten.

…climbed up the spout again.

The clock radio flipped another digit. Waving the smoke out of her eyes she left off with the nails, mashed out the cigarette in the tray, picked up the phone and dialed.

After two rings she knew going to voicemail was inevitable. After six rings she would rather hang up. After seven the announcement was always jarring in it’s simplicity. “Hello, you’ve reached my voicemail. You know what to do.” Beep.

“Hey, I know you’re not checking your messages,” she said. “It doesn’t matter. I didn’t mean all that anyway. I just called back to say I love you is all. Is that so bad? I want us to be together, okay.”

She leaned in on the phone. “Come on, I hate this answering machine business.” She toned down the intensity a notch to give herself some headroom then she let him have it full volume. “Look, I know you’re home. Pick up the receiver before I come over there and flush you down the toilet.”

The goldfish in the bowl came back to life and tumbled right side up. It fluttered around with wide, clear, eyes again — like magic.

Grace gently hung up the phone and went back to her toenails.

Itsy-bitsy spider climbed up the water spout…