Tag Archives: communication

I`m only one call away..

I like that song. You know that song, right? “I`m only one call away, I`ll be there to save the day”. Yeah, yeah. Cheesy, but goody. My song would be “I`m only one prepaid call away”, or “I`m only one collect call away”, or “I`m only one call, that has a 30 minute limit, away”.  Or….no call away because of a lock down because prisoners in GP cannot stop stabbing each other. “It’s how they show each other love” Jeremy says and then laughs.

“Do you know what I want to tell you every time we have to say goodbye?” I asked him.. . . .

“I want to tell you not to go. I want to tell you to please not leave me”.  That was difficult for me to say to him. It almost felt too raw and too hokey for me. I have difficulty with emotional exposure, believe it or not. Give me a blog and I will bleed my heart, but I feel even more center stage and nervous when I have to expose myself to my husband over the phone line. Funny how that works. It’s true, though, that the older you get, the more chances you take. Life chances, emotional chances. You say “Fuck it. I`m all in. I LOVE YOU and this hurts and I`m here”.  I`m here, across the telephone wires, and my voice is carries over the air to you and I hope you call me back even though it’s time to lockdown for the night. The feeling that comes to mind is helpless.

Anyway. Not leaving. Not hanging up. Staying with me. I know that isn`t a reality right now. I know that after we get that 1 minute warning, that it is only a matter of seconds counting down that we have to wrap the phone call up and I`m usually not ready, I have more to say, so many things, things left unsaid. So frustrating. Even if the phone call starts off normal enough, somehow we tumble through becoming infatuated with each other all over again and I want him to stay with me. *click. disconnect*

Sometimes he can call back, but when he can’t and I know he can’t, I stay on the line until it disconnects and I keep the phone up to my ear sometimes, waiting for his voice to return. It doesn’t return and it doesn’t matter how many years I’ve been doing this or how many phone calls have ended and started, my heart is still lost when we have to say goodbye. More silly hokey love stuff. You can vomit. Unless you’ve been in this situation and you have the guts to really lay it all out on the line, the vomiting doesn’t bother me. I hope, if anything, that my exposure is embraced and that someone doesn’t feel so alone or stupid or ridiculous because of me.

Anyway again. For a while there, we stopped saying goodbye, and instead said “Later” or “I`ll be right back”, but then we started to say goodbye again. It’s weird how cycles start and stop and start again. It’s weird how some prisons have 15 minute phone calls once a month and some have 30 minute phone calls that are limited only be tier time and how many people want to make calls.

The phone calls, though. They become my lifeline to my best friend. They become a stand in for every moment that we miss out on together. They become the light in the dark, my shoulder to cry on, my coffee with a friend when times are tough. I spend my days on the phone as part of my job and I absolutely hate it. I loathe talking on the phone usually to anyone. I have a weird phone phobia that I’ve had to overcome to communicate with Jeremy the way I do over those recorded calls, exposing myself completely, unapologetically.

He said he’s out on the tier tonight and he’s calling and I’ve already lined up all the things I want to tell him and ask him and I hope he can call back so we can talk for an entire hour because today is one of those days and an hour is so short, but I need every second of it to bridge that time between when we hang up and the next time he calls.



Our words

Over the years I`ve had people ask the question “What do you and Jeremy talk about?”. They mean how can we talk for hours on end at our visits. They mean how can we write 30 page letters. They mean how can we burn through hours on the phone(when we were allowed more than one 15 minute call a month) and not realize where the time went. What do we talk about? What is there to talk about? I always laugh and reply “We talk about everything and nothing”, and it’s true. My question is: What is there not to talk about? Connecting with my best friend is the most important time of my life, and I want to share every single thought, joke, expression of love, frustration, and sadness with this person.

Our love and life is built on our words. We don`t get to hold hands, kiss, or connect physically on a regular basis, and actually not at all right now. Our words are our love, our armor, our promise to each other. While other couples can pacify a bad mood with a movie shared, a road trip taken, or sex, all Jeremy and I have are our words. We substitute everything with letters, phone calls, and crazy amazing conversations at our visits. I have never felt more connected to another person in my life and right now we are restricted to mostly letters. My love has never been so strong.

When sharing a visit with family members I feel myself get antsy like a kid because I sit quietly, staring at my husband and watching him interact with others. I try really hard to not be selfish, to let other people talk to Jeremy when it is a group visit. I find myself speaking our words with my looks and he will randomly burst out in laughter because he knows I`m anxious and excited to have a moment alone with him, to string all my words together and create jokes, professions of love, and stories for his enjoyment.

We have created this wonderful, open world of communication where there is no holding back, no shame, no “I`ll tell you later” because all we have is there and now. All I have is that page, that 15 minute phone call, that less than enough time visit. My words are my connection to my husband. There is no backspace, pause, or delete. There is a continuous flow. There is 13 years of words between us and I know there is easily another 13 more.