Lois, late at night
Yesterday afternoon, our landline rang. We never answer it, because no one ever calls it but telemarketers, but for some reason yesterday, I did. I said, “Hello?” and a man, sort of confused, said, “Hello?” so I said, again, “Hello?” and then the man said, “Lois?” only he said it in this tone of voice that nearly made me choke up. He sounded like he’d just seen someone he’d wanted to see for years, across the room, like smoke had cleared and his heart had filled with joy and he had just been given another chance. If he was acting, this man should win an Academy Award for saying “Lois?” like that. It almost broke my heart. I have never regretted saying, “I’m sorry, you must have the wrong number,” so much.
Do you know what I do when it’s late and quiet but I can’t sleep? I pull out my notebook and lie in my bed and write the full names of everyone I can remember. I’ve probably written yours before, maybe even over and over if I liked the way it looked. It’s okay. It doesn’t mean anything. I wonder if anyone ever writes mine.