My love/hate relationship.

With phonecalls.

Tonight at about a quarter after eleven I was sitting on my friend’s couch petting her adorable kitten and downing a second Bacardi Silver Strawberry (I went straight for the hard stuff). Molly is only a month or two old and her mommy is out of town this week, so we are hanging out together for a few hours every evening. Today is my 21st birthday. It wasn’t the worst birthday by far, but I did make my first legal toast to better birthdays to come.

My phone rang and when the number registered I wondered what kind of crazy telemarket phonecall I was about to take. That’s the danger in taking all calls when your man is gone, you never know what kind of wacko person you will end up talking to when you just want to make sure you don’t miss his call. But to my surprise my hello was answered by a pleasantly familiar, “Hey, you!” I was a little confused because it sounded like he was calling me from work or something, not like the phonecalls I’d gotten before during an underway. There was no delay in between our sentences and it was very clear and I didn’t hear anyone talking in the background. I asked where he was calling from and he told me he was in port. “Oh its so good to hear yo-” Then it cut off. And I cried while sending a text message to my best friend, “HE CALLED and it CUT OFF!! :”(‘ .” And then he called back! He told me happy birthday and we talked for a minute about wishing he was here and what a pretty day it was here today. We talked about the animals and some pictures of them I had sent him. I briefly brought up his in-port budget and he said he didn’t plan on spending much this time around anyway (sigh of relief). He told me he’d try to call tomorrow so I shouldn’t cry when I get off the phone and I told him I wouldn’t but I think we both knew that was silly. He doesn’t do well when it comes to me crying. When he is watching me cry he has this ridiculously helpless look on his face, offers to do anything he can to make it better and then gets mad when I tell him there isn’t anything he can do. I can’t imagine how it must feel for him to hear me sniffle through the phone.

It was good to hear his voice and hear him say, “I love you.” There is so much more emotion in a voice than in an email. You can connect when you are on the phone, instantly and simultaneously. When I connect with an email, his fingers have long been gone from the keys and the emotions he put into the words have faded into black and white and its up to me to put feeling back into them. But a phonecall masks no emotions. Every inflection of his voice said “I love you” even when the words he spoke didn’t.

The call ended much the way all the others end. “Don’t cry okay? I love you and I’ll see you soon.” Another silly statement.. “soon.” We both know its not soon, but I think it makes him feel better to say it. And now I feel.. empty. His voice carries so much emotion and triggers too many memories to even begin to detail. “I’ll be home soon.” That was the last thing he said to me when I gave him the last hug and kiss for six months. Standing in the middle of the terminal parkinglot holding on to him like Charlie did his golden ticket. I felt at a loss. And that is how I feel now. I’ll sit in this vegetative state until the tears start to make my cheeks itch. Deep breaths help ease away the lump in my throat as I type up a synopsis of why I love to get phonecalls but hate them immediately after wards. And then I will go to sleep and hope that the fresh memories of his voice will bring me a vivid picture of his face while I close my eyes tightly and pretend he is sleeping next to me. And he will be.. soon.

2 Responses

  1. While reading your story, I felt like I was reading about myself. I started sobbing, because I know exactly how you feel.

  2. hey we share a birthday 🙂

    phonecalls are pretty sucky. i’m active duty military myself and it’s pretty heartbreaking when i call home and the connection is bad or it gets cut off.

    i know this was posted awhile ago, so hopefully he’s home by now.

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