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So I Called A Dead Man's Cell Phone Last Night...
Friday, May 11, 2012 - 11:30am
Renae Brabham - Piddlin’ in Plough Mud
Renae Brabham is a local flavor and humor columnist at Moultrie News online. "I am thoroughly enjoying the liberties associated with becoming a middle-aged woman. Did I just say that? There's an honesty, a transparency that comes with not having the money for a facelift and tummy tuck.

Yes, I called a dead man's cell phone. was in his pocket. I'm not trying to be morbid or witty. I know this will read like something from a cheap sci-fi or Tales From the Crypt. He was supposed to be important in my life, but was mostly absent so he never quite made it there. I am not sad. No pity, no sorrow, no nothing. I'm not a faker. I am not harboring recessed anger. Anyone who knows me knows that I can't recess anything. First to blink in a no-blinking contest, first to smile in a no-smiling contest. Hell, I can't even hold my stomach in long enough for a picture. You want to know what's going on with me? Look at me, or ask.

Got the call this week. My father's dead. I was at work. Stopped what I was doing for a few minutes. Went outside and called hubby. I had three minutes of sorrow. Came back in and went right back into conversation with coworkers. Move on.

I stopped by Taco Bell after work and brought us home some goodies. Usual routine when I come in. Loved on Snowy, put things up, and plopped on couch with my Nacho Bell Grande'. Eating away, I look over at Don. I still giggle now as I remember how he looked. He was ready to put his Beefy Bean Burrito down and be there for me at a second's notice. I could feel him waiting. I just kept eating. Bless his heart, I know he just didn't know what kind of dam was going to be released if he asked anything. So, I lick the last of the guacamole out of the tiny bowl and I start off. I told him I had the micro-mini three minute meltdown and it was over. Told him I didn't have any guilt, pity, sorrow, or remorse. etc. Nothing. I did ask myself why I didn't feel anything. I even tried to think of something about him to make me sad. Nothing.

Then I realized. Nothing is okay. Nothing is honest. I am at peace with nothing. The entire world is made up with suggestions on what normal is. What normal does. How we are supposed to act, re-act, look, feel and so on. Cookie cutter emotions.

He had left explicit details with his benefactors as to how he was to be buried. Jeans, shirt, suspenders and cell phone in pocket “just in case there was a last minute reprieve,” he said.

Tossing my Nacho Bell Grande' plate, I grab my phone and go onto the back porch. I pull out my cell phone. Dial the number. It rings the perfunctory four times and goes to message. I say "Bye" and smile. I didn't call to hear his voice, nor to send some symbolic message to heaven. I called REALITY. I was thinking about the truth of the situation. The sound that was buried six feet deep into the earth that no one would hear. The call that summed him up for me. Late.


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