It Rings

It wasn't long before we arrived at MAKE FROTHY COLA SOUTH JERSEY, a place slightly wilder and wiser than the rest of the lands I so abhorred. I should mention that I had taken to abhorring many things in those days: pinion nuts, for instance, and gum. It started with the pinion nuts. You see, my girlfriend loved them, couldn't get enough of them, filled her chipmunk cheeks with them -- and we had had a falling out, you see, so I abhorred them. At any rate, the main thing was that we, in little time, arrived at MAKE FROTHY COLA SOUTH JERSEY, which, to tell the truth, was little more than a rest stop girded about with ferns.

So my girlfriend pitched her tent and I pitched mine. And I was done first so I rested from my labor and instead watched my girlfriend bending over to hammer in the pegs of her tent. One after another after another -- through the little brass eyelets. I cannot honestly deny that I took pleasure in seeing her perform this simple duty, at which she was none too adept.

"Take heed," my girlfriend said upon noticing me standing beneath the WELCOME TO MAKE FROTHY COLA SOUTH JERSEY POP 3 sign, where I had pitched my tent, "for here shall be the site of thine eternal rest."

"So be it," was all I could think to reply.

We slept. Upon emerging from our tents the following morning, we collaborated to make psycho-psycho noodles from a pouch.

"These noodles are freaking delicious!" my girlfriend exclaimed.

"I am prepared to meet death," I said after I had finished eating and as psycho-psycho sauce dribbled -- stinging -- down my chin.

"You imbecile," she replied. "The hour is not yet come." Despondent, I waded into the ferns to take a dump.

Whilst I did squat among the ferns (it were like unto a magic, yellowy realm beneath their verdant canopy), I was startled by a feral cry: "Make frohy coho the Sout Yersey!" As fast as hygienically able, I got myself to the spot where my girlfriend had stood moments earlier. And lo: she were dead upon the gravel lot, black blood fast a-clotting 'neath her dainty nose.

"Cynthia!" I cried. "Cynthia, Cynthia, Cynthia, Cynthia!" For the spirit name of my girlfriend was Cynthia.

Twenty and a quarter years have passed since the day I lost my girlfriend and I have made the most of nearly all of them, including the quarter, in good health and from the comfort of my Florida home. It is a trailer home and comfortable I have made it through my cunning work with the needle and the patterned fabric. There has been but one tedious element to my existence since that day and that is this: that I have spent it in utter silence, deaf, ignorant of sign language and, therefore, alone.

Imagine my surprise then, the first time the telephone rang! Abruptly it began and now it rings and rings some more. Could it be for me? Has it only just begun ringing or have I only now been cured of my deafness and, in truth, it has been ringing all these twenty and a quarter years? These matters I may never come to the conclusion of, for I am sore afraid that it be the spirit of my poor Cynthia or, worse still, her fancy-tongued murderer who is on the line. So still I sit here at my sitting room table, fretting o'er my mug of Frothy Cola while it rings. It rings. And rings. Rings it for me? I know not, only that it rings.

About the author:

Matthew Kirby is about to go out in the snow to pick up tax forms.