Cell Phone

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Of course my parents wouldn't be on time. They never were, and the more I wanted to go home, the more time they took to come to school. I couldn't wait for a car, to come and go as I wanted.
"Can I borrow your phone?" I asked at last, a little desperately. I didn't want to be there any longer. It was too much.
"Sure," he said, and pulled out of his pocket a phone you could knock a person unconcious with, oversized and STOP tape yellow.
"Thanks," I said, and pushed in the familiar numbers of my mother's cell phone. They were like my own name, or my own address. Sometimes I felt like numbers were more important now, to everyone, then they'd ever been. Once they'd been for math types, the counters and measurers of the world; now they were lifelines running through everything. Letting us communicate, marking who we were. You know how people sometimes get this deja vu, overwhelmed feeling at certain places or hearing certain names? Maybe someday people would be that way with number. They would feel faint hearing a seven-number sequence, and then go back to find out it was the cell phone number of their great-great-grand-ancestor person, who'd fallen in love with his wife over that phone.
I put the phone to my ear and waited as it reverberated with the ring. The phone smelled a little. Well, it smelled like him, really, which made sense as it had just come from his pocket. Salty, kind of, a little bit like perspiration, maybe a little unwashed. It would have bothered me on another day, in another place, but right then, with everything being so fake all day long, it didn't smell bad to me. Just sort of human.





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