I love my phone. I love it. OK, I don't love the phone itself, it's a simple Blackberry by RIM, it does a great job getting corporate e-mails, the occasional text from a friend, pictures of trees that got blown over in my Dad's backyard, and lots and lots of reminders about stuff that I have really lost interest in doing... (Attending next month's planning meeting for a company I will no longer work for? No thanks.)
What I love is the miracle of the telephone and voice. Her voice, or her's, or her's. It's wonderful.
Today I had to discipline a friend for failing to complete a very simple instruction. Not pleasant, but important. She asked permission to call to make amends. What a beautiful request.
At the time of her e-mail I was dining with friends but needed a reason to leave so I told her to call. The call came in, I pointed at my phone in mock despair and gave the universal signal for "I have to take this call because it is way more important that you people who actually made the effort to physically gather together share a meal."
Luckily, we were at the end of lunch and it acted as the excuse we all needed to clear our table and start going back to work.
"What do you have to say?"
"Sorry? For what?"
"I'm sorry for not following instructions."
“Do you have a good reason?”
“No, I fell asleep.”
“Then do you deserve your reward?”
We then had a pleasant conversation about her day, the importance of obedience, the nature of life, and her latest workout at the gym.
Then, she stated her needs.
“I want to play.”
Her honestly in that statement made my pulse race and I waved my friends on up ahead. They were already confused by my side of the conversation for it wasn’t what I would say to my wife or kids, but, hearing only ½, they just rolled their eyes.
I walked along the quiet blocks of overpriced homes, careful not to trip over tree-lifted sidewalks or downed branches from the severe weather.
“Where are you?”
“On my bed.”
“Are you alone?”
The power of voice, the ability to hold a 4-ounce slab of technology in your hand and share such intimacy gives great power to both parties. Separated by miles and time zones, the sound of her voice stirs me. The instructions are offered and followed, enjoyed, and shared back in shrieks and moans in an empty house.
She catches her breath and regains her speech, and we talk of weather and friends, and Christmas plans and trouble with life. I smile sweetly at the old woman, laden with a ½ gallon of milk and a few vegetables as she walks past me. Did she hear the words so wantonly used just moments before? Is her immigrant English good enough to understand the slang of pleasure and dominance? Will she go home and remove the aging khaki pants and relive the overheard conversation, or shake her head at the immorality of youth?
“Pull your knees up to your chest.”
We begin again.
Voice, instructions, compliance, questions, descriptions, breathless pleading and quiet permissions given.
The power of the phone, the voice, carries emotion that words will never carry. You can never type the intensity of a cry, the hiss of breath through clenched teeth, the sharp sting of a slap on wet flesh.
She complies instantly and the signals speeds from her phone to the tower to the satellite to the nearest tower to my hand as I sit on the wall in the warm fall breeze and control her every move. I know within an instant that she is crashing through again, gasping, heaving, clenching on command to pure release.
I walk along, enjoying the time away from my desk, the bright sun, the singing birds, the soft roll of tires and the roar of engines as cars that match the cost of the homes drive by. Three men approach from behind. Do I keep talking and reveal the true nature of the call, or do I make chit-chat and preserve our privacy?
Chit-chat prevails and I learn of her schedule, the drama in her brother’s life, the need she has for a wax and a haircut before her company Christmas party. The men walk by and leave the range of my voice.
“Have you learned your lesson?”
“Good Girl, I have one more choice for you.”
“One more now, or two this evening with an offering?”
Her needs thrill me.
Instructions are given, an offering is agreed to, a schedule defined. She will get her wish.
The power of voice.
God Bless, Alexander Graham Bell and Watson, and all the rest.
Thank you very, very, much.