Paul, Please Pick Up: The full story

Today I sat down with my coffee to write and see what my mind decided on.  The past couple days have been rough, partially due to not sleeping right or enough.  I think the other part of that was feeling a little burned out from Duelity and all the thinking of where that whole story spiraled out of.  Let’s just say it is a collage of a lot of things that have gone on in my life as well as various feelings that I’ve felt.  Fiction has to come from a real place or else it’s weightless.

My brain began to really hone in on something I’ve been thinking about since I returned from my wonderful little getaway and then my phone rang.  It was a number I didn’t recognize so I just let it ring, I was onto something with the writing and that was more important.  A few minutes go by and I notice that I have a new voicemail message.  It’s something that doesn’t happen often so I was curious as to who it was that had called.  My first thought was “ugh it’s probably work related.”  Then I listened to the message.

A woman named Teresa was on the other end, I don’t know anyone by that name, but I recognized the distraught desperation that her words were fighting on their way out.  The signature sound of a nervous speaker which I immediately related to.  I couldn’t make out every word but I could feel what she was feeling.  I’ve been there.  “I don’t have friends.  I can’t find any and I can’t make any.  I miss you.  I love you.”  I quickly felt like I shouldn’t be listening to this stranger pouring her heart out but I couldn’t stop myself.  She said all these words for someone to hear and since they didn’t reach who they were meant for, I might as well listen.

There were moments that she caught herself and stopped from saying certain things, she didn’t feel safe where she was.  There was a small child screaming in the background, I assume the child was hers but I can’t be sure.  Whoever this Paul is that she thought she was talking to was/is a friend that had to move away.  Towards the end of the message she said “It’s not fair how the best people in life come along and then leave just as quick.  They can’t stay as long you want.”  The message cut out after she said: “That’s who you are.”  An abrupt ending.  I wonder how she felt after she put the phone down.

When the message ended I was left wondering if I should let this person know that she didn’t reach who she meant to reach.  I didn’t have to think about it much, I sent one of the most polite texts I’ve ever sent and quickly she replied.  I got the feeling she was embarrassed or maybe worried that I was bothered by it all.  I sent her another text wishing her a lovely day and I hope she understood that I just wanted her to reach the right person.  I really hope Paul picks up when she tries to call.  She definitely needs to talk to someone and clearly he is vital to her.

I don’t usually like explaining a lot of the poetry I write but this was a different experience and it seems worth sharing in greater detail.  I did run with some things in the poem just to flesh it out and ride the feelings.  It is an interpretation of the voicemail and I believe it works.  I know there are a lot of overwhelmed mothers out there.  I can’t even imagine what being a mother is like and all the conflicting emotions that must bring out.  It’s strange, part of me is glad Teresa made this mistake today because it really inspired me but I am also quite shaken up over it.  I want her to find her way into better days.  I sincerely hope Paul picks up that phone.


Thank you for reading.


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