I work for a Telephone Whisperer; a specialist field. We deal with a select group of clients, anxious to retain anonymity. This morning, an old telephone visited us. He explained that he had been having dial trouble and seemed to be stuck on the number six.
Over the years, our clinic has treated many types of telephone. I could tell by the yellowing plastic and frayed cable that this was a particularly ancient and fragile model, so I asked him to take a seat. I checked the bookings and informed him that The Whisperer would be able to see him within the hour. The graven droop of his receiver suggested to me that this was of some concern. I asked him if he was expecting a call. He told me that he needed to be somewhere within thirty minutes. The clinic was quiet, so I offered to take a look at him myself. As I oiled his dial, I asked him why he was in a hurry. He told me that he needed to attempt an off peak call to his wife. He said that she was the most beautiful telephone he had ever seen. They had met when they were very young. In the static of two lover’s phone calls, they forged their own connection. Every night they had looked forward to their secret exchanges. I asked him where his wife was now. He told me that her receiver was broken and that she was being looked after in a junk shop. He said that he visited her daily, calling her off peak as he didn’t have very much money. Her dial tone worked but she couldn’t answer. I marvelled and asked him if he ever despaired in the silence that inevitably greeted his affections. His reply filled me with shame.
‘Just because she is no longer able to talk to me, is not a great enough reason not to talk to her.’