Do you remember when we used to talk?
Real talk. Talk with sound.
Vocalisations from our heart and through our lips
That crossed the distance between us no matter the miles
So far apart yet bound together
Tethered by coiled wires that we twirled dreamily between our fingers
Each curl and swirl reflecting the giddy loops of our heartbeat
As we laughed and traded secrets
In those quiet moments we could snatch
Like thieves in the night while parents slept.
Even now, I hear your voice,
The memory trudging up a smile,
Or occasionally the ghost of a shiver down my spine.
Your breath in my ear,
Like whispers of what could be.
We still talk now, I guess.
Idle words through the ether
That materialise before us on glowing screens
But the electrical warmth is no match for the warmth of your voice.
These words now slide from thumb to glass
Rather than from those soft lips that smiled
Yet, at the tap of a finger we could reconnect,
A light brush of that imitation green receiver
An icon of that plastic crescent I held so tight
Because I couldn’t hold you.
But now, not only distance separates us, but life
Different turns in different roads
As we shed the fragments of our childhood selves
Until little of those lovesick dreamers remained
And our hearts hardened with the years.
Still, each pinged message summons your face in my mind
And the photos you post for the world fill my screens.
I see you more, know more than ever before
But somehow it all seems hollow without that static buzz
That once was the backdrop to every word.
Somehow, that old, yellowed phone had stripped us,
Undressing our struggles and hangups until only our souls remained
Meeting somewhere in that tangle of wires
Our private haven where only we existed
Without anything but our truest selves
That the rest of the world could never see.
My finger hovers over the call sign now
And you are but a tap away,
Why would I call you? It isn’t like the old days.
A call is an event, especially out of the blue.
Would your voice still sound the same?
Mine certainly doesn’t. Would I interrupt the new life you live?
The life you built where I’m just one of many sets of words on a screen?
And how would I stay calm without that blessed wire to fidget away anxiety?
Maybe we, like those old phones, are a relic of the past.
The coil that bound us has gone wireless, severing us,
Setting us adrift. Setting us free.
Or, perhaps there is still a chance.
I desperately want to hear your voice again,
So I breathe,
And bring my finger down as though to reach through the glass to you,
Searching in hope that your hand is reaching out too,
As the first rings sound.
Will you even answer?