My Home Phone Does Not Have Caller ID


"There you are. You haven't been answering your cell. For weeks."

"Shit. Alan, I'm sorry, it's just..."

"Naw, don't. Don't even. You've gone and come back and left and are back again--and have been for days--and I get nada?"

"Shit. Shit, shit. Okay, no. I know, it's just, you know. There's all this stuff, you know? Seattle stuff. SF stuff. Bullshit, actually. Some good, some bad. All hard. No pun intended. Look, I'm glad you called."

"I bet you are. I'm recording this."

"Recording? Can't we just talk? Like people. Like...maybe I just need some advice."

"I'm still recording. I read your blog--about the most recent trip. I have questions. Did you see Mark?"

"Huntsman? Yeah. Of course. We had lunch before he left for Sante Fe, talked about you know--stuff. And about Dear Fat Kid."

"His novel?"


"Tell me about Dear Fat Kid. Not the story, I mean, you've mentioned that. Tell me about how you're feeling now, having fnished it."

"I feel like I love it, and I feel like I'm terrible. I have no direction. I've spent too much time in California worried about everyone else, and every time I think I've stopped, I'm suddenly forced to realize who I've become in the wake of one of my friends. In the wake of my own indiscretion because of them. I'm tired of it. I need a plan."

"I spoke to Mark. He mentioned the two of you, at Cafe Septieme, shooting the shit and all, and of your adamence that you needed a plan. Do you have one yet?"

"Wait. You spoke to Mark? My Mark? What the fuck Alan, can't you just stick to your own local obscure writers? I mean, what the fuck. He's two states away! What interest do you have?"

"You said he was brilliant. I trust you. And I want in. That's me--what about you?"

"About me what? Alan, what the fuck. How did you even hook up with Hunts?"

"What about what you want?"

"You're ignoring my question."

"Damn straight I am, I fucking asked first. Miranda, what do you want?"

"Okay. Jesus. Be a little harsher, why don't you? I'm never fucking you again. What is it? No--really. What is wrong with my vagina? I swear to god--everytime I fuck some boy or another he goes fucking nuts on me. Every. God. Damn. Time. I'm tired of it! What do I want? I want one fucking week to feel static enough to get some good shit on paper. Something I'm proud of and whole and compelling. I want stories to pour out of me all night long like they used to, not to have to extrapolate plot and wit from a series of post-its and torn notebook pages months after the fact. I want to sell more pieces. I want boys to know all of the different Mirandas that there are. I want..."

"To finish your novel."

"Yes. And for it to resonate. To be as charming and compelling as I can be in person. For one to be able to hear me on the page. For many pages. I want it to feel lovely to read. But I'm sure Hunts already mentioned that."

"Yes. He did. He spoke of the Art Show chapter, and how he had spoken to you about it as well."

"Yes. Yes. And I want...maybe I want to perform again. I don't know, but I need a change. A big one. I'm sick of settling, I'm sick of accepting. I want to demand, for reals. I want to actually demand and not just say I am. I want people to support me. To question me. To want to know how all that Cake has tasted. I want Cake. The litteral, the proverbial, the whole fucking-frosting-covered-oh-so-sickly-sweet-gamut. I want it now."

"Watch out, Veruca."

"Fuck that. I want to watch for nothing. I'm sick of being scared. I'm tired of being scared of the future, of my bank account, of keys in my lock. Of people bigger than me, of people smaller than me. I'm sick of being scared that I and my talents and my abilities aren't good enough, because aren't they good enough for something?"

"Or someone?"

"Funny you should ask that today. Over a year ago, I was interviewed in front of my work for a short film project by the author of a book called Laid or Loved. Now, I haven't watched the video in ages, but she asked me a question something like "Which would you rather have, love, or sex?"

"What was your answer?"

"I said I wanted to be fucked by the people I want to fuck me, and I want love from the people I want to love me."

"That's pretty telling."

"Whatever. The point is, I was walking into work today, and this woman grabs my arm and is like "Omigod, do you work here? Aren't you Miranda? Do you remember me? I'm Dr. Jen!" and she wants another interview. Then she gave me a copy of her book and a t-shirt that she had brought to Market Street today just in case she ran into me. True story."


"And what? I'm fucking memorable, goddamnit. And it's not just because of my unique tattoos or my glasses. I was wearing long sleeves today. She was fucking looking for me because of five sentances I said a year-and-a-half ago. Five sentances."


"And no. I'm not the siren Big Alexis speaks of, nor am I the savior Little Alexis speaks of, but I'm something. I'm something more akin to the charmer Other Nick the Writer speaks of. But I'm definitely fucking memorable. And that--THAT is my favorite Miranda. Of all of them. I want her on the page. Right next to slutty Miranda."


"Listen, are you still recording?"

"Yeah. Of course."

"Good. Play that all back to me later. I want to remember this."

"Is that part of the plan? To remember that you said all of this?"

"It is now."




"I gotta go. I have planning to do."

"Yeah. You know, I think I might need one of those too. A plan."

"Kay. Just don't bother me with it."

"Excuse me? Who's harsh now?"

"Did you not just hear a word that I said?"

"Maybe not. Maybe we're both glad this is recorded."

"Tomorrow. Call me. Text me."

"Kay. 'Till then."





[There you go. Like I said, true story. --M]

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