Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Kind of a Drag

I got home from work and my first order of business was to head upstairs and change out of my scrubs and get into comfy clothes. 

I went back downstairs and turned on the TV and watched the latest about the OJ trial. Some of the reporters were saying that the DNA evidence was going to be disputed. I snorted. Who wouldn't believe that evidence?

I called my boyfriend up at work and we chatted a bit. He was pretty busy so we couldn't talk long. I heard someone else talking to him, a woman, and I couldn't really hear what he said to her. Something like, "Hang on." Or maybe it was, "Come on in." 

He got back to me on the phone. "I'll be over after I get off work, okay?"

"Okay, sounds good. See you then." 

We hung up and I sat there for a moment. Something didn't seem quite right but I didn't feel like thinking about it too much at the moment. 

I made myself a microwave dinner and sat down and watched a movie I'd rented. 

Then I worked on the mixtape I was making for my cousin. I added up all the minutes of the songs and figured out how to max out the space on the tape. I wrote down all the songs in my notebook and after about three hours, the tape was finished. I closed my notebook and heaved a sigh. It was a good tape and I was pretty sure my cousin would like it. But I'd write up the insert tomorrow. 

Besides, my boyfriend would be off work before too long and he'd be coming over. I made a fire in the fireplace and settled down on the couch to read. It was cozy and warm and I had started to doze off when the phone rang. I got up and went over to answer it. 

"I'm running a little late, but I'll be there as soon as I can, okay? If you want to go up to bed, I'll let myself in." 


I hung up the phone. I looked over at the fire, which was dying out. It was low enough that I didn't need to tend to it anymore.

I grabbed my book and headed upstairs. I brushed my teeth and got into bed and read for another hour. Where was he? He should have been here by now. I went back to my book and after a few minutes, I put in my bookmark and turned out the light. I laid there wondering what was going on. I picked up the phone and punched in his pager number. I laid back and looked at the ceiling for a while. The phone finally rang, the light from it brightening the dark bedroom. 

I answered it with, "Hey." No one else called me this late at night. 

"Hey. I can't come over tonight. I went out to my car and someone stole one of my tires." 


"Yeah, they just took it off of my car."




"Listen, I'll call you tomorrow, okay?"




I hung up the phone and looked at the ceiling again. What was going on here? What was I doing? Why was I putting up with this? 

My mind was racing and I decided to turn on the radio and listen to some quiet, soothing music. It was set on the oldies station and I listened to a couple of quiet songs. The DJ came on and said, "I'll take requests if you're out there listening." 

I rolled onto my side and looked at the light coming around the blinds. I looked at the phone. I picked up the handset and punched in the number of the station. The phone rang and the DJ picked up. "Hey. What do you want to hear?"

"Can you play 'Kind of a Drag' by The Buckinghams?"

"Sure. Why do you want to hear that song?"

"That seems to be what I'm feeling right now." 

"You okay?"

"Oh, yeah."

"You sure?"

"Really, I am. I've just always loved this song, and I'm feeling a little jilted tonight. This song really fits my mood right now."

"And you're sure you're okay?"

"I am. Thanks for talking to me and thanks for playing it, if you do."

"No need to thank me, and I will. Hey, what's your name?"

I told him and he said, "So hang tight and listen."

"I will. Thank you." 

I hung up the phone and burrowed into my pillow. I was on the verge of dozing off when I heard my name on the radio. The DJ said that this was going out to me and I heard "Kind of a Drag" start to play. The DJ interrupted the song and said, "To the young lady I talked to a moment ago...you're going to be okay. Tonight might be kind of a drag, but that doesn't mean the rest of your life will be. Rest well." 

I listened to the song and before it was done, my phone lit up and rang. I picked it up and I heard my supposed boyfriend's voice, asking if I was okay. I hung up the phone without saying anything. It rang again a moment later. The light lit up the corner of my bedroom.

I turned away and let it ring.