Short Story – The Phone Will Ring

Another sunrise. Another day of waiting. Sitting on the back deck with a line in the water drinking too many beers. It might help if I had bait or hooks or stuff like that, but I find that fishing is much more relaxing without all that catching fish business.

The phone will ring soon. Or later. Or never. Well, so far it has never not rang, but that is always a possibility. It will happen one day. The phone will never ring again and I’ll be stuck here pretending to fish and drinking beer for the rest of my life.

What if the phone doesn’t ring? I can’t just fish for the rest of my life. I’ll need a hobby. I could collect things. That sounds boring enough to kill me. Maybe I could watch every movie ever made. Maybe I could build things, as long as they’re not too hard to build.

I have a friend who builds paper cars. Most of them are pretty easy. A color printer, some scissors and some tape are all you need. When he first showed me his collection I assumed he was insane. Though when faced with the idea of never working again, I can almost see his point.

The problem with paper cars is that while they look cool and are easy to build they are ultimately worthless. My friend is zen enough, or zenough, to think that having a worthless hobby is a good thing. I’d prefer to do something of value I could pass on to the young ones.

Unfortunately, I don’t have any young ones. Nobody to carry on my legacy, which I also don’t have. I guess getting one of them wife people would have helped, but I never got the hang of those relationship things. Maybe paper cars wouldn’t be so bad.

So this is where the mid-life crisis is supposed to happen. Only it doesn’t, happen. Every time I get close to having one I’m overwhelmed with contentment. Then the phone will ring and I’m off on another job and become too busy to think about such things.

The problem is that I have no reason to worry, so I tend to be not very good at it. My brain doesn’t stick like other people’s. My brother has a wife, kids, a dog and a paid-for house, but he worries all the time. Me, I analyze things, decide on an action, then let it go.

Boy, I can spew some bullshit when I get rolling. If I didn’t worry, I wouldn’t be babbling on about not worrying. I’m not ready for this. Let the phone ring just one more time. I’ll prepare for next time. If it doesn’t ring, I’ll be ready.

Then the phone rang. A job. A long job. I won’t have to worry about the phone ringing for at least a year. Then what? I’ve been checking out paper car web sites, but haven’t mustered any interest. Maybe stamps. Maybe travel. Maybe hookers.


Author: Tom
Writer, cyclist, RVer, etc.