I hate voicemail. I don’t have much choice about answering the voicemail at work. However, my personal voicemail will sometimes accumulate to the point that I have to empty it because I have no space left. I usually don’t listen to the entire message. Just enough to tell whom it is and then delete it. Yesterday I was listening to my voicemail, and it made me laugh.
I have a good girlfriend that you might actually say is my best friend. I’ve known her for about six years now. She’s amazing. She’s one of those women that you aspire to be but never will. She’s Barbie doll beautiful, super smart, and one of the most generous persons I have ever known. She’s so perfect even her feet are pretty. I met her at a temporary job I was working once. We were both talking about Dennis Lehane’s book, Mystic River, and how much we had liked it. Clint Eastwood had just come out with the movie version, and so that weekend we made plans to go see it. The rest is history.
She’s been my friend since right after the break up with the Rat Bastard when I was still espousing theories on how he was obviously a dangerous sociopath. I’ll call her Lubbock. She’s eaten my mother’s homemade chicken and noodles with both my parents, lugged me around with crutches in her car after my ankle surgery when I was stir crazy to get out of the house and go somewhere, and been the person with whom I get my very first sunburn at the pool every summer. In return, I have lugged her around in crutches after she broke her foot, listened to the stories of previous prospective boyfriends (including the New York City coffee shop heir!) and gone home with her and her current boyfriend, Lineman, for Thanksgiving.
We called that Thanksgiving the trial by fire. We all drove to Houston together, and it was the first time that both Lineman and I had met Lubbock’s family. We needn’t have worried. Well, actually, I wasn’t worried period, since all my friends’ parents have loved me since the beginning of time, being such a “good influence” and all. I can’t help it. I’m like catnip for parents. But Lineman was really worried. He won friends and influenced people by washing the dishes. I spent that same time talking to Lubbock’s eccentric grandmother, Nana. I take it that everyone was actually more impressed with my efforts with Nana than Lineman’s dishwashing, but I got the better end of the deal because I find Nana genuinely charming, and I didn’t have to wash dishes!
To make a long story short, after the Thanksgiving by fire, maybe because we were both the only strangers among family, or maybe, as Lubbock likes to say, because we are both Tauruses and just “get” each other, we bonded, and now Lubbock and Lineman and I are all three the best of friends. When Lineman got his iPhone it was only natural that he would turn to me for help with it since I am generally acknowledged to be by far the most technologically adept of our little threesome. I fixed him up and gave him an iTunes gift card I had. In return, among other favors we exchanged that weekend, Lubbock insisted that Lineman send me a picture by email attachment that he had taken of his penis using his new iPhone. Don’t ask. My friends are weird. But Lubbock is awfully proud of Lineman’s supposedly perfect cock. I don’t remember what happened with this actually, but in the end I did not get an email with a picture of the famous dick.
What I did get instead was a voicemail message some months later. Actually, it was three voicemails. The first one was from Lineman, wanting me to join him and Lubbock for a drink somewhere. The second one was from Lubbock, presumably also inviting me to join them. The third voicemail was from Lubbock again, exclaiming that Lineman had discovered that whenever he dials my number from his iPhone the previously mentioned penis picture pops up on his display and that he was paranoid that whenever I received a phone call from him the same picture would pop up on my cell phone as well. And as I was chuckling over that idea it suddenly occurred to me that maybe I should check my voicemail more often.