Cell Phone Hangover – Tom Gaffney

                “If you ever send me a picture like that again, I will kill you.”

 

                “Why are you mad at me?  Shouldn’t you be mad at Nadine for looking at your phone?  Plus – I have located your phone, you seem to forget.  I did not start the fight.  I did not lose the phone.  I don’t even have a hangover.  You though, you are having a melodramatic fit.”

 

                “Listen, I don’t need you sending me pictures of some bikini barista from the drive through espresso in Lake City.  I was not interested in them before, I am not interested in them now.  If you don’t send the picture, I do not get into the fight.  If I don’t get into the fight, I do not get upset, hammered, and lose my phone.  Can you figure that out?

 

                “First, it was just a picture.  Second, I did not start the fight with Nadine.  Finally, you are the fool who got wrecked and lost your phone.  And if you were not already drunk you would not have gotten into the fight.  I may not be Nadine’s biggest fan, but she ought to kick your ass just ‘cause you are so stupid.  Plus, you have to admit that it is kind of unbelievable that I found it.  You have to admit.”

 

                “Fair enough, you freak.”

 

                “Do you want me to talk to Nadine for you?”

 

                “I should hit you for even suggesting it.  She is not even a member of your fan club.  Steer clear my friend.”

 

                Ken was correct, even if he is an immature moron pain in the ass.  Finding the phone was fantastic. 

 

                We were at a house party last night.  Nadine borrowed my phone to make a call.  When she did, she found the pictures that dumb ass had sent me – they arrived while she was making her call.  She got annoyed, I got annoyed.  Next thing you know we are yelling at each other out on the front lawn.  I say some dumb things.  She splits, says I can walk my foolish self home when I am good and ready. 

 

                Already messed up, I head downtown, travel a bit further down the line.  I blow an obscene portion of my paycheck.  I lose my phone.  And now I have a splitting headache, a bad stomach, and some frayed nerves.  All that and Nadine is gone all day for work.  And I cannot even get a hold of her to say I’m sorry.  I remember texting her before I left the bar last night.  Hopefully I did not say anything else to add fuel to the fire.  Without her life is in the toilet bowl.        

 

But things are looking up.  Ken may be a pain, but he found the phone.  He stopped by to check on me this morning.  He knew I was in rugged shape last night.  When he saw me fretting about the phone, he called the number.  Crazy enough, some guy answered.  A homeless dude said he found it near Pioneer Square last night.  Said he is sitting down by the ferry terminal and I can stop by and pick it up.  Unbelievable.  Can that be real?

               

Too good to be true is more like it.  But, I have to go check it out.  I ditch Ken and retrace my path from last night, heading back to the train.  I sport shades on this gray day, a testament to my addled mind.  Because of my hangover, because of my emotional state, and now because of hope everything seems alive and scary, ominous.  Phoneless, I cannot even put my headphones on to seal myself off from the world.  Assuming I get the phone, I hope Nadine has tried to call me back.  I just want to tell her I’m sorry for being such a jerk, losing my temper.

               

Good lord, the platform and the train are packed.  My head swims looking at the green and blue of the hordes headed to the clink for the Sounders game.  So noisy.  And happy too.  I look out the windows as we pull away from the station, watching for the videos that play on the wall.  Playing cards that flash as we go by.  Hardly the I Ching, but I cannot help referring to them, looking to glean some information.  Queen of Hearts.  Ace of Spades.  And we’re gone.  I shiver despite being comfortably warm.  I would not mind throwing up again. 

 

The hordes get off before me and two stops later I am in Pioneer Square.  Up the stairs and down Yesler to the ferry terminal, ready to meet my day’s fortune.  Do I win or lose?  Do I really get my phone back?  Is Nadine willing to keep me?

 

One or the other, I am relieved to see only one street person hanging around half way up the block from the pedestrian entrance to the ferry.  I roll the twenty bucks I brought with me around in my hand, hoping that will be enough to get it back.  Looks like he is in his fifties, ragged like you would expect.  Big gray beard, alert, not too scary looking.

 

“Hey, would you be the guy who happened to find a phone last night?”

 

“I surely did.  But it was this morning.  What’s it to you?  Your phone?”

 

“I hope it is.  If so, I’d like to thank you for rescuing it, and answering it when my buddy called.”

 

“Well, if it is yours, you better pay your bill.  Their customer service has been calling you all morning.”

 

“Can I check it out?  Prove to you it’s mine?”

 

He hands it over.  I show him as I unlock it.  Relief, mixed with pangs of sadness and desperation.  The phone is back, but no messages or missed calls from Nadine.  Damn.  I offer my savior the twenty dollar bill.

 

“No thanks he says.   I don’t want your cash for the phone.  You can put it in the box, but this ain’t no scam, you understand.  I found the phone; just want to get it back to its owner.  I may be on the street, but I don’t steal from people.”

 

“Alright.  Thank you so much.  Is there anything I can do for you?”

 

“Two things, please.  A big mac.  And a phone call.”

 

“Big mac, sure.  You want to use the phone to make a call?”

 

“You are correct.”

 

Not sure if I am making a mistake, I leave him with the phone, unlocked.  I walk up the street to get him his big mac.  Amazingly, he’s still there when I return.

 

“Ok, Ok.  Look, mom, I have to go now.  I’ll call you the next chance I’ve got.  The phone’s owner is back.  I got to.  Bye.”

 

“You called your mom?” Amazing.

 

“What of it?  Nice photos you got there.  That girl is a hottie – I bet she makes quite the cup of coffee.”

 

“Thanks.  Look – here’s your big mac.  Thank you again – I really appreciate it.  Please, keep the change from the big mac.  I can’t thank you enough.”

 

“Alright then.”

 

Then I am back on the train.  Looking at my phone.  Still amazed.  Still no word from Nadine.

 

The phone chirps.  I can see I have a text.  I am afraid to look.

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About bbcstudiowrites

This blog is me archiving the BBC Studio Writers Workshop.

Posted on February 19, 2013, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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