The TLP Network

Sharing the Hate, Spreading the Pain: On the Telephone

by on Jul.10, 2008, under Articles, Sharing the Hate

Leaning with my back up against the wall in a slanted position, I glance around my surroundings. Currently I reside in the den where regret meets despair. The black deep ceiling interior makes the dark brown wooden tables and bar stand out a little bit more than they should. The only overhead lighting brings the bar to focus, while small white candles briefly illuminate the tables where people can sit and chat. There is probably a pool table and a dartboard off near the side by the bathrooms for those lucky enough to grab them early. At least that is what the loud cheers and boisterous noises tell me. The pocket watch vibrates slightly against the side of my front leg. It is a strange sensation, but it must mean someone is actually calling me. Odd, since I am the type to go out and find people to interact with very rarely planning this feat. The pocket watch vibrates gain for the second time. It is easier to talk to those that are out of their own volition than to drag people out who will be miserable for leaving their home.

Perhaps I should answer it. Perhaps I should let it go to voice mail and then listen to the message. If the call is important, they will leave a message. If the call is unimportant, they will not leave a message. Does it matter who is calling? The pocket watch vibrates for the third time. At least I should have the common courtesy to check to see if I recognize the number. If I do not recognize the number, I will let it go to voice mail for sure. It could be someone of the crew coming out to meet me. However, it is more likely someone from the crew calling to tell me to meet them elsewhere. I am content here for
the moment leaning up against the wall glancing around the room at the weekend warriors.

I once heard a quote that a ringing phone has to be answered. There is anti-compelling desire to interact with others of your own species in any manner. That is why humans are pack animals with a herd mentality. The fastest form of communication is currently the telephone in this modern age. The average call lasts only two to four minutes. There is more than enough time to talk about the who, what, where, and when in that brief timetable. However, I am and always interested in the why. The why never enters into the conversation on the telephone, and hence is not worth answering. The pocket watch vibrates for the fourth time.

The unspoken piece of the conversation is why of all the people they have in their walking rolodex of numbers that they chose you to call. The pocket watch vibrates for the third time. Maybe I am thinking too much, and I only realize the vibrations between thoughts?

What do they want from me of all people? I am thinking I should just wear a watch and leave the telephone at home. The pocket watch vibrates for the fourth time. Did I lose count? At least this will be over soon if I do nothing. Doing nothing is still making a choice. Then again, I do like the reassuring snap of closing the lid. Perhaps, I will get an analog pocket watch instead.

The telephone becomes a device in which one person can not only reach out and bother someone else when it is least convenient, but they can ask you for something as well. That is pure genius in my opinion. There is no limit to when and how someone can harass you. The less you want others to harass you the less you listen to them when they speak.
Instead of practicing the art of dialogue or conversation, one person merely talks at the other. Since one person is talking at the other, and there is no exchange of ideas, the person not paying attention takes a passive aggressive tone. In this scenario, the most common telephone scenario, nothing happens except time is wasted. My time is to valuable to let others speak at me trying to convince me to dedicate my resources to their cause.

The pocket watch vibrates for the fifth and final time. This time I am sure of the count. Here is to not talking at you on the phone. In retrospect, very few can understand me, and those that do understand me do not use the telephone to talk with me they use e-mail when both parties can communicate in depth on their own timetable. I do not get
many of those either lately; perhaps it is because I do not talk to them on the phone to ask them to e-mail me? I will give it a minute to see if they either call back, or if the pocket watch vibrates ever so slightly letting me know that their is a voice mail.

Ignoring another phone call, that is a rather pointless accomplishment: Worthy of a chalk mark. I think so. My job here is done then. Time to move on.


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