“The Cell Phone F*#ker” #4

Posted on February 1, 2011


I tell my mom I want to be dropped off at Starbucks so I can work on my writing.  She says I have to ask my father.  (Am I 40 or 7?)  So, I ask him if he’ll drop me off at Starbucks so I can work on my ‘resume.’  He says I can work on it at home where it’s cheaper.  He’ll only charge me $5.  I pull something short of a tantrum.  I’m powerless without wheels here, and I need to get the hell out.  He finally agrees to drop me off for an hour while he’s at the library.  But, in repayment for his ‘kindness’ I have to shovel the driveway.  I remind him that I have a broken elbow.  He says, “No wonder you’re still single.”  It doesn’t even get to me because I’m SOOO excited (notice my new attitude of gratitude) to go to Starbucks!  Freedom!

So I get a great table.  I’m deep in thought.  I feel a brilliant poem rising from the deep angst I feel.  I start to think maybe this situation (having to live with my parents out of desperation) will be wonderful for my poetry.  Maybe I have underrated the universe and its plans for me.  I can be so foolish sometimes.  Well, I’m ten minutes in, and the writing is flowing – I mean Anne Sexton has nothing on me – and then….this DIPSHIT starts talking on her cell phone…like no one else is there!  And, do you think she’s talking about the upheaval in Egypt?  No!  She’s talking about what she had for lunch and whether she should go to her knitting circle or not.

This is the kind of shit that gives someone blood pressure problems.  The next 40 minutes, I give her the evil eye.  I mean, I am trying so hard to concentrate on my work; my one hour crumb of freedom.  But, she doesn’t give a shit.  She is going on and on, where everyone is a captive audience, about the most innocuous bullshit EVER.  I take a Starbucks napking and write, “CELL PHONE FREE ZONE.”  I hold it up by my face, because I’m too passive aggressive to just talk to her.

I force  myself to just look at my own writing and use what is happening to create my poem.  But, just at that moment, My father pulls up outside and honks and honks like I have a hearing problem and there’s a fire.  I am in a dark place.  I walk over to the woman (just like when your friends want to leave the club or the bar, and that’s when you have the guts to go up and talk to the guy you’ve been checking out all night, because you know you’re leaving, so if he rejects you, it ain’t no thing).   I say, “Excuse me.”   She says, “Hold on” to her friend.  I continue, face flushed, “I just wanted to tell you that it is VERY rude to talk like there is no one else around but you.  I, and everyone else, in this place has heard about your fucking tuna fish sandwich with french fries, and frankly I don’t give a shit if you go to the knitting club without a partner.”  She screams “Do I know you?  What is this, a library?  It’s a free country.  I can do what I want.”  I say, “Yes, it is a free country, so I will have a free mouth, too.  You’re a fucking twit who probably had no friends growing up and now you think having a cell phone is so cool.  You’ve ruined my time here, and you’ve ruined my whole day.  You’re a fucking dipshit.  Enjoy your latte!”

I walk out, and my father is standing in front of his car.  He asks what I was telling the woman, so I debrief him.  He gets closer to get a better look at the woman, who is looking our way – and so is everyone else.  He wiggles his hands by his ears, like “nah nah na nah na.”  I join him.  We’re both chanting, “DIPSHIT.  DIPSHIT.  DIPSHIT.”  The woman is mortified.  We get back in the car and drive off in silence.

I feel like, just for this moment…my dad is alright.