As soon as the phone rang, I regretted calling him. I was hoping it would go to his answering machine. It did. I hung up without leaving a message. I poured more wine and lit a cigarette with the end of my previous one. The phone rang, it made me jump and spill my wine.
"Hey. Sorry, I was just walking in the door," Brian said to me.
"Oh its fine. How are you?"
"I fell on the ice today. And I was dancing by myself all night at a club last night. I'm sore."
"I'm sorry babe."
I couldn't find the words to explain why I called quickly enough.
"There is something wrong, it's in your voice," he said.
"Yeah. I don't know. I just finished reading this fucked up novel about a prostitute. After I closed the book I felt . . . you're the only one I can tell this to . . . I felt the compulsion to masturbate. And I did. And after I cried so hard. I felt really ashamed or guilty or something like that . . . I felt like the way you feel after you masturbate when you are a child and you are still convinced you are doing something really wrong."
Brian didn't say anything.
"So I just felt compelled to call you. It's no big deal, I feel fine now, I just wanted to hear you talk or something, " I said to him.
"That's cool beb. I just got off of work."
"We've been friends almost as long as we dated now, isn't that wonderful?"
"Yeah, it's weird I almost called you a while ago, when I was waiting for the bus."
I thought about how right before we broke up, I promised Brian I would teach him how to drive, and how we never really got around to it. I take the bus every day, but the thought of Brian getting on the bus makes me feel guilty.
"I've been thinking about you all day. I have a lover sleeping in my room and he is tall and broad like you. The funniest things make me think about you," I said.
"Yeah, what's funny about that, is I think you are the only person who thinks of me as big."
"What?! You're huge! When I imagine you it is this image . . . this image of you with your arms spread wide for a hug, and you with your wing span taking up so much space, waiting for me."
"I think you are the only person who accurately remembers my physicality."
Brian and I talked for about an hour. I wanted my friend near me. I wanted Brian to be on my couch, looking at me the way my brothers and sisters do, watching me talk, adoring me for no good reason at all, not wanting to cause me any harm whatsoever. I looked down at my hand and there is still a tiny groove where I wore a ring on my finger three years ago. I got from the couch and walked into my room to wake up my lover and fuck the living shit out of him.