I wrote this this week and performed it for its first time out today at The Anchor in Woodbridge. It seemed to go down ok. In fact, it went down pretty well. With women especially. I like that.
When The Phone Rings
I hate it when the phone rings
Just in case it’s you.
I don’t want to remember
A bright crisp day
Not too long ago but
Somehow far too far away
To get back there now
When all we could do was light a fire
And sit holding hands that afternoon
Talking almost in whispers,
Feeding logs into the stove.
You should have been at work.
And I had things to do,
Both forgetting that this spell
Would break, as all spells have to.
That afternoon shone with promises
While the winter sun bleached
Our hearts clear and new.
And then the phone rings.
And maybe it’s you.
Have I thought again about life insurance?
You wanted to insure your car for me
And I wanted to insure my life for you;
It’s who we are. Or more properly
That’s who we were.
Maybe you never knew.
I so much wanted that for you.
That’s how we were,
When if I’d died I’d have wanted you
Quite rich if I couldn’t want you
Any more. It was all I could think
To give you. Apart from me.
So no, actually, I mean I have,
But all things considered
And I don’t really want to go into this
Too much on the phone
With a stranger somehow
But I feel as if all I have left
Is being polite right now,
So I don’t really need
My life insured. Thanks.
Or not for you, anyway. Not now.
Make some more tea
And now you’re not here
It seems I don’t really need
To wash the cup clean.
There’s a missed call on my phone
But it’s not your number.
It never is now.
And no-one there anyway.
Especially not you.
It never will be somehow.
I’ll be ok, you know? I’ll be ok.
But just for a while,
Until I can forget the logs
And the stove and the bright sun
And your dog and all
Of the glory we could see
That afternoon so full of crystal light
So cold; you held my hand
And told me over and again:
“It’ll be alright”;
Just until then I hate it
When the phone rings.
Just in case it’s you.
And yes, of course it’s about a real person. And no, she wasn’t there and hasn’t heard it. A pity.
It’s not quite as in-your-face as this violinist’s reaction to a phone ringing. My stuff was described once as making me ‘the king of passive aggression’ but I think Lukas Kmit must be the emperor. Oh, and she still hasn’t heard it, so far as I know.