Leave A Message At The Tone

July 18th 2014

Story originally written and experienced: December 19th 2010

“Hi. You’ve reached Olive. I can’t come to my phone right now. But if you leave your name, number, and a message, I’ll get back to you as soon as possible. Thanks!”

– Beep –

It’s exactly where I wanted to be.

And it’s exactly where I wasn’t.

I remember laying there. In my house. On the floor. Listening to a song on my iPod. Something nice. When I started

c   y   c   l   i   n  g

through my normal thoughts. Priorities. Food. Romances. Repeat.

– Stopping –  at one                              outlying idea.

One that always seemed to make a guest debut when I was on vacation or in a moment of exceptional stress. The thought of…going somewhere. Anywhere.

Somewhere completely off the grid.

Or at least one that felt that way. For a second.

It’s not your room with audible footsteps outside the door. Or even a park bench where people non chalantly

>>  walk on by >>

It’s somewhere else. Somewhere unreachable. Sans phone. Sans obligation. With no conversation at all.

But you go there with every intention of going back to all of it.               Later.

It was Spain’s fault.

I had a foreign affair with this idea once. Being in a city and a place every day where I was completely unrecognizable. Living with no one I knew and my nearest friend residing 2 miles away. There were days where I hated being so                           secluded. But most where I was head over heels in love with it. Because I knew that as soon as I rekindled my relationship with the USA, shit was going to get real. Again.

Priorities. Food. Romances. Repeat.

I remember laying in my house. On the floor. Listening to a song. Something nice. And I thought about a place exactly like that.

And how I wasn’t there.

But more than that. Wondering why I wanted to be there at all.

And I came up with this:

We do a lot of damn things. Every day. All the time. Some for ourselves and more so for others. Expected to be at at least 8 places at once and attempting to live up to everyone’s expectations, especially our own.

Meet deadlines.

Figure out your life.

 Figure out your romance.

You said you were coming.

Where are you?

Did you pick up the booze?

Did you respond to my text?

Have you met my friend?

Don’t forget the reservation is at 8!

How was work?

How is life?

We should catch up sometime!

Can you do me a favor?

We need to talk.

Did you call the venue?

What time are you getting there?

Has he responded?

Has she responded?

What happened last night?

Are you going out?

How did it go?

You’re never around anymore.

Can you call my phone? I can’t find it.

Pay your bills.

Clean your bathroom.

Call your mother.

Make a mistake.

Talk about it.

Stay professional.

And most importantly.

II Pause II

I guess every once in a while we just need a damn minute. To fixate on just about anything that we’re not asked to fixate on. Every day. All the time. And just recharge. And figure shit out—desires, fears, updated favorites, or better yet—nothing at all.

Thing is.

We’re constantly

p     u    l                                         l     e      d

In multiple directions. And sometimes we’re not even sure where we’re going most the day. We’re just going because we’re told, expected and hoped to be there.

And having a moment to do what you want. Where you want. And how you want to do it.

Is kind of nice.

Because that’s allowed.

In fact. It should be mandatory.

Priorities. Food. Romances. Repeat.

I remember I was laying down. On the floor. In my house. Listening to a song. Something nice. And thinking about the perfect place to be.

And how I just wasn’t there.

I guess I just needed a minute. Just one. To feel like I had some sort of genuine control of something in my life and the simplest solution just seemed to be time. Away. Checking out. Being gone. Saying bye. And disconnect. Just for a little while. Have delayed responses. With every intention of saying something        later.

And that’s okay.

Because taking a moment is normal. And getting away is nice. It makes walking away feel worthwhile and coming back feel great. And if you can realize that? Do that? And be okay with it too?

Well. Then you’ll realize you’re exactly where you want to be.

– Beep-