Saturday, June 10, 2006

Erase Entry

A few minutes ago, I reached for my cell phone. There was a killer show starting on BBC America, and I was certain my brother would want to watch it. I tapped a speed dial number and then stopped.

He's not there. He's not home. Never will be again.

I stared at his entry on my phone. I hit the options button. What would I like to do? Edit the entry?

Erase it?

Erase is Option 7. My hand hovered over the 7 on the keypad.

But I couldn't do it. I just couldn't do it. Erasing him from the cell phone is like erasing his memory somehow. I know that's ridiculous, yet the primitive child in my brain tells me it's so.

It's still too soon. It seems... wrong... disrespectful... Unfair.

Fuck. For that matter, it all seems unfair. And wrong.

I think his phone was disconnected before he died, actually, when my sisters cleaned out his house during his final hospitalization. The number may even be reassigned already. There's probably some perky young thing ready to answer my call and tell me I've misdialed.

But, on my cell phone, my brother's still there. I can fool myself a little bit. "Edward George" it reads on the screen. I can pretend he's waiting to hear from me.

I think you'd like this show, Ed. Wish you were watching with me. I hope you can hear me now.

9 comments:

Spencer said...

I am so sorry to hear about your brother.

Hey - it's your brother - I'd keep it in there for as long as you need it to be.

Shafa said...

This where what I said about memory comes in...

Claire said...

Makes perfect sense to me.

On a lighter and slightly related note, The Closer starts season 2, Monday at 9 on tnt. I remember you said you liked that show, but that you'd missed the pilot last season. (Apparently season 1 is out on dvd now.)

Loracs said...

After I moved away from home, I called my Mom almost every Sunday for 20 years. It's been almost 6 years since my mom died and I still have this nagging feeling on Sunday afternoons that I fogot something.

It's a small bit of phone memory, but a big part of your life memory. Keep it for as long as you want and need.

Janet M. Kincaid said...

I echo Locas. Every Saturday for as long as I lived at home (until I was 25), my grandfather called every Saturday like clockwork. We used to joke we could set our watches by his call.

Now, when I'm at my parents on a random Saturday morning, I look at the clock at 9:30 and expect the phone to ring, but it doesn't. I wish it would though.

Keeping Ed's number is okay. I'm sure he's up in heaven wondering, "Now where did I put my damn cell phone? I need to call Melissa and tell her about the quirky dude over on Cloud Nine..."

kristen said...

My father passed away four months ago, and I still can't get tenses straight when talking about him.

A few weeks ago would have been his 67th birthday. My cell phone jolted me by setting off its annual reminder for me to call him. It was disconcerting, but then I had to laugh about it. See, I set that alarm wrong from the start. I put it a day early because I always confused my dad's birthday and Morrissey's (May 22 vs. 23).

So every year I would hear the beep and call him. And every year he would mock me for calling on the wrong day. In that moment, I could imagine him seeing me get that reminder and laughing his ass off that I still couldn't get it right. And that thought made me smile as much as I wanted to cry.

If you want to keep it, I would keep it.

Elizabeth cheesecake Montgomery said...

Melissa, you have the coolest and most insightful blogger friends. I still have Ed's number in my cell, and I'm the one that pulled his phone out of the jack. I am keeping his favorite sweater jacket for you, and you can wear it and watch BBC America.
nurserachet

Washington Cube said...

Having lost people I love, all I can say is, leave it there for as long as you need to. There's no need to delete it. I was coming home from a movie the other night and wishing I could call someone I had lost, so all I can say is that impulse to share never dies. You just have to tell them from your heart now, and that's the sadness we all carry in becoming adults.

suze said...

totally makes sense to me lady. keep that number there as long as you need. forever if necessary.