Red phone.

Sometimes you feel things that a language can’t word, so the best I can tell you is this evening-I feel Red.

Red like anger, red like the commie I am. Red, red and red repeats my head which rhymes with the Redmi* I write this on. It’s funny how cool phones used to be back in the day. The cruder they were the more popularity they had. We’d sneak those heavy bricks into school and stare into the tiny screens where we played snake. Later we’d mash our clumsy thumbs on colorful flip phone after we downloaded games off shady websites. The games were generic and ripped off movies and better games on PC’s.

Eventually the phones lost all their buttons and we were tapping at screens. It was a  long time though before our phones were more than phones. I don’t remember when they became platforms, when suddenly something that had your entire life on it was just a disposable hunk of plastic replaced every year.

The phone in my hand feels like a red button I’m used to slamming. Phones take you everywhere and this one is taking me back. I’m not a materialist I don’t feel attached to the phone but I can’t say the same for the memories that come with this one. Someone offered to trade me a Note 4 for my Note 3, they need a back up phone. What’s a single number to me anyway?

I run my hand over the cracks on the screen and my blood feels red, as memories rush back. I remember slender hands that ran over it and announced “Only red china for you comrade?”. I remember voices that came from within it, I remember what I told it and the people on the other side, I remember conversations written. I could ruin those memories by rereading old message, reviewing what actually happened. I could map myself along everything that was on it, every friend or someone more I have or haven’t talked to. It would rhyme like bad poetry.

Somewhere on it there might still be pictures of who I was but ah! It was just a phone, just a year or so, just a girl or two, just a city or two, just some friends you no longer know.Give it away, give it away. Hold onto the red but not the phone.

 

*A Chinese made phone

The Maid

Pity was the last thing she needed, maybe it was even a little insulting, but that’s all he had to offer as she left.

A few days ago she flew in like she always did. She was always turned around, looking out to the street while the doorbell still rung. When the door swung open, she’d turn, and with formal greeting head straight in. He would stay out of her way, but like the ears of a cat would follow every step. Far too often he’s look around and feel something out of place, something missing. He was wary, and watchful when he wasn’t indifferent. But that day she was a was a bit nicer. Meeker? He pushed the thought outside and went out to the balcony where he could rock the cane chair a few inches shy of the late morning sun. From here he could see and ignore most of what happened inside.

A few cushions paled with age were moved around and leg was swung onto a reading table. He looked out at the sun coated sprawl of buildings, rented houses that cannibalized former homes. They rose irregularly, their bones of steel sprung out of the roofs of many, the grilled windows unable to protect against dust. They were all he saw except for irregular burst of green and glass behemoths at a distance. She spoke again.

He hardly head what she had said. Her contacts were lost she said, she wanted help she said. A few days later she nicer still, said she wanted help. His curiosity was sufficiently piqued. He tried piecing together a mystery as she asked him how to block a number. Her’s was an old phone, a worn touch pad that poured light through faded keys. There was no block option. It wasn’t one of those call drop numbers. This was a person. A person who had called frequently, late into the night she informed him. She asked if it was possible to have it blocked at a store. He doubted that was possibly and shrugged no longer interested. He told her to try. Late into the night… It’s a little more serious than call drops then. “Bored pervs” he though to himself.

Today she asked for his number. She’d lost her phone. He couldn’t shake the feeling that she’d gotten rid of it to escape the calls. He remember her husband, a loud, brash plumber he couldn’t stand for too long. He didn’t see the plumber being much help. He saw her fly away like usual but felt disturbed. Maybe he should have done something more. A phone wasn’t cheap,it must have cost her dearly to get a new one.She might have asked for help but maybe it wasn’t his business to offer help.

She joked that she must have forgotten it somewhere. Her laughter seemed awkward. He offered her his usual curt smile. She carried on as always,back to the un-speaking self, having found her way of coping while he stayed out there perturbed. His indifference made him feel guilty but soon he was lost to thoughts about the city before him.