London Calling

– The phone says California, but I know it ain’t…

– Stop trying to sound American, Rulo…

– I am American. I wonder why the phone thinks London is California.

– A mystery

– Indeed. How are you?

– I’m well, thanks. This is not a bad time to call, is it?

– No, it’s allright. Let me sit in the shade for a minute… it’s so hot…

– Where are you?

– I’m at my place, working outside. You?

– The London flat, came here to get the mail, will go shopping for some supplies later on, and meet with this group I told you about, my music industry friends, you know

– Oh, yeah. The Powerpuff girls…

– Right, them. Will probably stay in London tonight, and drive back to the Barn tomorrow morning. We’re staying there almost full time now, Sean is there with Carter right now.

– OK, good deal

– I started a kitchen garden, you know… wanted to ask you a few tips about the tomato plants, they are growing huge, but we’re getting very few tomatoes from them, I wonder why…

– Hmmm, you’re probably over-fertilizing. They use the nutrients to grow foliage, it all goes to the plant, you know, the leaves…

– So I should stop fertilizing, you’re saying?

– Yeah, stop for a while, see what happens. Start again after you see there’s a lot of small fruit. Trim the suckers and some of the growth.

– Good, good, OK. So what are you growing besides the fruit? Tomatoes?

– Oh, no, you can’t grow much in the summer here…

– Really?

– Right, it’s too brutal. The only kind of tomatoes that do well here in the hot weather are called Everglades tomatoes, little sweet things… but I don’t have any right now. I was actually transplanting stuff from 6-packs to 6-inch pots, see if I can sell some at the farmers’ market.

– Yeah? What kind of stuff?

– Herbs, mostly. I keep them in the shade, water them often. They don’t look too bad. Sages, basils, you know. Also some dwarf sunflowers, they should sell well when they are flowering…

– I love sunflowers. Love those Van Goghs, you know…

– Oh, sure.

– So… what else?

– Ja! I don’t know. It’s hot. I said that already.

– What are you doing right now? Just sitting there?

– Yeah, rolling a spliff.

– I thought you didn’t smoke anymore.

– Yeah, I didn’t use to. For the longest time and all. Just took it up again recently.

– Oh, that’s not good.

– No it isn’t

– Is it because of all the stress and all that?

– What stress?

– You know… your separation… the divorce thing and all that…

– I don’t know. I guess so. Maybe.

– I mean you said you weren’t doing too well

– Well, you asked a simple question in the email, and I answered it. But you know, smoking wouldn’t be… it’s not such a big deal, you know… I mean there’s other more serious stuff and all. Never mind.

– What kind of stuff?

– You hear that? Oh, I can see it!

– What is it?

– It’s a big woodpecker. Wow, it’s huge. You hear him?

– Oh, yes, I heard it! That’s nice…

– Yeah…

– So, you’re feeling pretty miserable? Are you drinking too much?

– Yes and yes, but I’m not sure we should be talking about it.

– You’re seeing your kids, right?

– Of course I’m seeing my kids. Maybe not as often as I should, but…

– Why not?

– Damn, I dunno. Maybe because I’m kind of irritable and want to spare them that. Maybe because my place is kind of… it’s not really suitable for children to spend overnight, you know… too primitive… besides, there’s always all these women…

– Oh…

– A few women. A phase, what do you call it… womanizing… I don’t know. I’m talking too much. Why are you asking all these questions?

– Because… we’re friends and all… I know you’ll say no, but…

– You’re damn straight I’ll say no. I’ll never be your friend, you know that.

– You’re getting annoyed now, aren’t you?

– Oh, shit… maybe let’s just leave it there, OK?

– As you wish. What a pity.

– How about I call you some other time, when I feel like talking to you?

– I don’t think so. We discussed this once. My nerves… would be a wreck, if I knew you could call, y’know that… it’s better you don’t…

– Right. You wouldn’t take the call, Sean would ask ‘who was that’, you’d have to come up with something…

– Exactly

– So you wait until you’re alone and bored and call me instead. Who cares if I’m the wreck…

– It’s not like that

– Of course it’s like that. And we had an agreement about not talking anymore and all. Do you think I need to know of how great your relationship with Sean is, his favorite bands, the good times you had at Glastonbury and at your new place, and all the stuff you write about in the emails you send? I don’t. All I need is to turn the page and forget about the whole thing. About you. Yet I’m such an idiot, if you write I answer, I pick up the phone even though I don’t know anyone in California, anyone who’d call me anyway, or in London for that matter…

– You told me where to find the stories, Mr Leave-Me-Alone…

– You’re right, I thought it would be fair for you to know that I had posted them somewhere. And it was you who wrote first, I only answered and my thinking was, here’s the old stories, they’re yours as much as they’re mine so you may want to share them or whatever. One thing’s for sure, I’m not writing about you anymore, it’s been enough, more than enough. If I write at all, it will be about other people, other places, probably in Spanish. It’s been enough.

– I hate it that you feel this way. I shouldn’t have called.

– You’re right there

– This too will pass, you know…

– Look, I don’t need you to tell me that this will pass. You have no idea. I need to get a moth tattoo. Because that’s what I am, a moth, and I get burnt every time I get close to the flame. It’s a metaphor, you’re the flame, you know…

– I get it, I’m not that stupid…

– But no more, let me tell you that there will be no more of the I love you nonsense, the stories, all that crap. It’s over, kaputt. I’ve been working on it, and I’m working on it, and it’s over. Your relationship improved orders of magnitude after being in touch w me for a few months and nearly driving me mad? Fine, good. I don’t need to know about it. What are you, rubbing it in my face? Mine fell apart, a lot of things fell apart for me. I’m in a worse place than I was 6 months ago…

– I’m sorry about that

– No you’re not. You’re feeding off of it. That’s why you keep calling. You may not know it yourself, but you’re feeding off of this negative energy and I want you to stop. I need you to stop. To go away. The worst thing that happened is not the drugs, the booze, the fights, the separation, the women, the irresponsibility… you know what it is?

– No

– The loss of patience. I hate it. And I can’t help it. I have no patience for anyone, I’m cranky and frustrated, and I think it’s unfair that I’m always so tame and lame and educated towards you, answering emails and shit. You richly deserve some of my crankiness. You’re the cause of it. So thanks for the emails, and now kindly fuck off, go enjoy that perfect life of yours that you keep rubbing in my face and leave me the fuck alone.

– You need to chill and smoke some of that spliff, you drama queen drunk.

– I smoked it already, you English bitch.

– You know I’m not English…

– Whatever.

– Is that the woodpecker again?

– Yeah…

– (…)

– (…)

– I’m sorry it had to be like this. I like you a lot, you know.

– Please don’t say that. You won’t call again, right?

– No, I won’t.

– So….

– It’s good-bye, then.

– Yes it is.

– Ciao…

– Ciao, Lily.

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