Can you hear me now?

I’d eagerly answered my phone when I heard his ringtone, smiling at the image of him looking all badass in the teeny icon on my screen.  We had spoken extensively earlier in the day, as I’d been waiting for my train to SF from LA, and then for the opening movement of my trip up the coast. The follow-up call was a bit of a surprise.


“How do you hear me?”


I was caught short for a moment. He has the capacity to ask me shit that often seems deceptively simple, but then unpacks a lot of complicated shit. Or that seems as though it would require an essay in response, but on reflection? A few simple words can seal the deal.


I responded with scintillating intelligence and sparkling wit:  “Um. What?”


“How.  Do.  You.  Hear.  Me.”


I felt that now-familiar prickle at the back of my neck just in listening to him. That voice…how DID I hear him? The question resonated as I inhaled slowly and tried to find a way to articulate that. Beyond the obvious point of aurally, there was so much about the past few weeks that has been about hearing beyond words. My listening skills have been worked out in a way they haven’t been in a long, long time. Past the tapestry of words, there are equally important pauses. Sometimes long ones. And hearing those moments where the conversation stretches into relaxed quiet, I listen to what isn’t being said. Feeling his tone and rhythm and inflection pulled across my field of hearing, when his voice drops to that growl, or when it entices with an intended, deliberate pause, and when it says what I’m thinking, even as I am thinking it…yes. Right there is the heart of the question. I wonder how that happens, myself. How do I hear him…


I arose from my comfy seat on the AmTrak Coast Starlight train #14, as it slid northward past dunes and desert, ocean and sky, and I left the Reserved Car. I couldn’t have this conversation with the nice Senior Citizens passively listening to me as I try to explain to this person, someone I’ve granted heretofore unprecedented access to my most honest responses, how it is I hear him. How deeply, how fully…


I take another breath, feeling my face flush with some self-consciousness. I stammer something trying to buy more time, but it is a rather incoherent jumble.  “You…do you, what…do you mean, like… how I. Uh…”


“How do you hear me on this new headset? I got one that isn’t wireless in the hopes that it might be clearer and you’d stop saying “What?!?” every other fucking minute.”


I hiccuped inside with laughter.


“Oh. OH. Ohgod. I thought you’d meant…something more. Esoteric.”




I grinned out loud. “I can here you quite well. This is better than the earbug thing.”




“So I have you have a special headset for talking to me?”


“Yeah. I figure if we’re talking about having a long-distance thing, we’ve gotta be able to hear one another.”


Indeed, I smiled to myself. And sometimes…sometimes? I manage to hear him even when we aren’t on the phone.


And I think he hears me, too.

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  1. me on October 21, 2010 at 1:00 PM


    Funny and sweet.

    • mollena on October 26, 2010 at 10:30 PM

      Thank you! :-) I think so, to. But I am a bit biased. ;-)

  2. car rims on October 24, 2010 at 11:55 AM

    ghost ride that whip

    • mollena on October 26, 2010 at 10:29 PM

      I know this is spam, but it is so fucking hilarious, I’m-a leave it. Minus the spam linkage, of course. *LOL*