Superbowl Sunday, 1988
I hear the phone but refuse to acknowledge until…
The line crackled and buzzed but her voice sounded through. My heart pounds dangerously upon hearing the message on the deprecated mini-cassette answering machine owning her voice.
“Dave, this is your long lost love Lisa, Please call me…”
Eight years had passed since last we’d spoke. I swore her off. I vowed to never, NEVER, tangle with her again.
How did she get my number? Why’d she call? Is she in trouble? Why at this hour? My mind tumbles into a heap of scrap like the aftermath of a sloppy high-speed car accident.
I call back, busy…busy again, wide awake now even after multiple superbowl brews, I contemplate giving up..but try calling one more time.
Busy signals and bad connections still existed in 1988, but this time she answers…
She had jarred my mom from deep sleep @ 4am to get my number.
She talked about her drug-related life this past year, in and out of rehabs and hospitals, she talked about her estranged husband and their 2 year old daughter. She talked about her fiance, a navy grunt stationed in the Persian gulf, she alluded to a tryst with Steven Tyler of Aerosmith and accused her psycho-analyst of getting her hooked on Xanax. She talked about her mom and her friends in rehab and how “everybody love’s me down here”.
She talked, I listened.
She said she was an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) and a model, but was on welfare at the moment.
“This is a great song!”, she said, referring to some metal song on her stereo. She placed the phone receiver next to the speaker and sang along, word for word, as the source volume of the music distorted the phone line. She didn’t pick up the phone again until the song ended.
She told me she love me. I told her I’d call her later that day. Another good song came on, she turned up the stereo again and continued singing…I slowly, cautiously placed the phone receiver back on the hook, wondering what just happened.