Drunk Dialing

It was 1:45 am.  I had had my friends over for New Year’s and everyone had brought something to drink.  We’d sat around eating and playing cards, and for a few moments, I’d forgotten about my difficult teaching job, my married boyfriend, my single parent status, my dead mother and my absent father.  For a few minutes, my cheeks had glowed with the false happiness that a few bottles of Zima could induce.

But then, everyone left.  The evening was over, but I was wired.  As I cleaned up the bowls of chip scraps and crumbs of cookies, my mind started to drift.  As it often did when I had had a little to drink, the rose colored, maudlin fairy tales started to pipe themselves into my head.  I wished that the man I’d been dating had been able to be here this evening with my friends.  I wished that I could have rung in the New Year by kissing him instead of my friend Karen’s new beau, on the cheek.  I wished that for once I was the girl that everyone thought was sexy instead of cute.

Suddenly, in the grand tradition of drunk dialers, I had a great epiphany.  Now , while everything was super clear and concise in my head, now would be the perfect time to have a conversation with Dennis about where I thought our relationship should be headed.  No matter that it was nearly 2 am.  No matter that his wife could easily answer the phone and wonder who was at the end of the line.   It was time for me to lay down the law, lay it all on the line.

One ring.  Two rings.  Three – “Hello?”  A drowsy Dennis answered the phone.

“Hey,” I said, trying to sound casual.  “Do you have a minute?”

I could almost picture him looking at the clock that I know was flashing a bright red One Fifty Two AM back at him.  “Um…sure,” he responded.  I could hear quiet creaking as he rolled out of bed and quietly took his cordless phone out of the bedroom.

“What’s going on?” Dennis said lightly, without a hint of anger.

“Well,” I said, a bundle of alcohol induced  self righteousness, “I’m calling to tell you that I’m not sure I’m happy with where we’re at right now.”

“Really,” Dennis answered, in the manner of a hostage negotiator making no sudden moves, “What exactly is your concern?”

“Well here’s the thing,” I went on unselfconsciously, “I just am starting to feel like while what we have together is amazing…and I am talking A – MAZE  – ING,” I intoned loudly, taking a swig of one of the half empties one of my guests had left behind, “I am starting to feel like it’s not enough.”

“What do you mean, exactly, by not enough?”

And just like that, the euphoria from the alcohol and the hours of friendly companionship at my home evaporated, as did my self confidence at making the phone call.  I slumped down into the chair in the same room where Dennis and I had our famous talks and glasses of wine and started to cry.  “I just wish you were here with me, right now.  I wish you could just jump in your car, right now, and hold me until I stop feeling so awfully.”  And there it was.  I was starting to crave Dennis and his optimism outside of our carefully carved out one night a week.  I wanted to share him with my friends, share with him my experiences and my whole self.   Not just the part that we were to each other, but all of it, everything.  I wanted more.

“You know I can’t do that,” came the response on the other end of the line, full of sympathy, but the words were practical, realistic.

“I know,” I answered quickly.  “But the thing is, I want you to just the same.”

I heard a sigh on the other end of the line that said everything that words could not.



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