During the monthly happy hour with my Breast Cancer Broads, my phone
rang vibrated. “RESTRICTED”, according to caller ID. i ignored it, and continued on yakking with my friends. About 10 minutes later, it went off again. Unrecognizable series of numbers, never mind that i was with friends, so again i let it go to voice mail.
Of course, no message alert tweaked me later. Continuing with the festivities, i didn’t give it much thought.
The third time it went off, i was starting to get annoyed. “C’mon!”, i thought, “Either leave a message or stop bothering me!”
Right around the same time, the thought dropped into my brain like a cartoon anvil: “Oh, shit! That was from London! Where my daughter is curently living! SHIT!*”
Immediate distraction. Racing thoughts. We were finishing up our gathering, so i excused myself and raced home to check e-mail. Mind was going a mile a minute. “It’s almost midnight there. If she was just calling to say ‘hi’, she’d have left a message. Why was it showing ‘restricted’, then a number? Hospital? What if she’s in the hospital after getting hit by a car because she didn’t look left when crossing a street or if she had an anxiety attack or was mugged of wants to come home because she hates school or she’sbeenabuctedbyaliens…”
You get the idea.
Rushing into my bedroom and lighting up the laptop. No e-mail. i quickly dug up the phone number for her mobile phone in London and called from the landline at home. Went to voicemail almost immediately. Leaving a “What’s up?” message – while trying to sound calm – i then sat back to catch my breath.
Mind continues to work…
“OK. i can’t really do much even if something is wrong. Bob** is there, and has her back. Should i send him an e-mail? No, it’s midnight there. What the hell difference does it make whether i find out what’s up now or later? Christ, it’s been another twenty minutes! She’s fine – this is the kid who survived a bar fight in a Turkish brothel in Istanbul. What happened? Did she get ejected from the program for some weird administrative problem? Airfare is about a grand, but i could get there tomorrow night if i have to but why the fuck hasn’t she called back by now?”
Again, you get the idea…
Although it seemed like hours, my phone rang about five minutes later. It was The Girl.
The Girl: Hey, Ma.
daisyfae: What’s up?
The Girl: I’m just doing some laundry and thought it would be easier to call than send you an e-mail tonight… Got your e-mail about sending a package, and would love it if you could find a battery charger for my camera.
daisyfae [finally breathing normally again]: Damn good to hear that! i was pretty worried – once i realized it was you calling, i sort of freaked out. Why did it take so long for you to call again? i was starting to lose it…
The Girl: I got talking with this really neat French student down in the laundry room…
Check out the Disney short feature here. Mickey discovers ‘shrooms…
* In case you’re wondering why i didn’t call her back? i don’t have international calling enabled on my mobile. i already provide my arm and leg when i fill up a car with gas, so there’s no need to provide the other appendages to the phone company for a service i rarely use…
** He’s an instructor at the school she is attending. He’s also known her since she was born. In fact, we recently started the rumor within his family that she is his “love child” from our youthful [ahem] entanglements. And by the way folks, he’s not a ‘gold star gay’.