Missed Call

Wednesday morning before work, I missed a call from an area code I didn’t recognize. It was probably a scam or a telemarketer, there are a lot of those these days, but who knows? Maybe it was someone important: My boss? The FBI? The Ghost of Christmas Past? You’ll have to excuse me, I just binge-watched Joan of Arcadia, and I know it’s epistemologically impossible to contact a higher power. Still, having to be 100% sure, I called the number back. The phone rang, someone answered, and we sat in silence for ten seconds. It was unsettling, like seeing a cockroach on the kitchen counter, or discovering a dead orchid. I mean, I thought about saying hello, but doesn’t that responsibility fall on the person who answers? It’s the principle of the matter, and what would you say when confronting the unknown? Why agonize over words? Though nobody spoke up, I did hear Snoop Dogg’s “Gin and Juice” playing faintly in the interloper’s background. Whoever it was, be it my ex-girlfriend or the Pope, they had good taste. I sang along to the chorus, like anyone else would, and hung up.

Gerard Manogue (he/him) is a poet from Southern California. He publishes his poetry in little magazines.

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