Sunday, April 27, 2008

Sunday Memories-Grand Street: Dialing A Wrong Number Just To Get An Answer


The Phone Lady had regular rounds up and down Grand Street. Picking up each receiver of every public pay phone she'd start screaming into the receiver, screaming, screaming, like the Flood but no ark and nobody stopped her or asked her why or anything. We all just stood there and watched or walked by and watched. After her screaming, she'd take the receiver and repeatedly slammed it down, bang bash bash bash bang the battering of a parent unable to hold back a billion fists to an errant child who risks life to be itself, thrown against the wall by the parent who never did bang bash bash bash bang.

Then she'd walk to the next public pay phone.

A day or a couple of days later, the Ma Bell guy would quietly retrace her footsteps, like a social worker coming to soothe the abused, and gently fix each phone. And then a day or a week or a couple of hours later she'd return and it would all begin again.