I’m leaning over the work surface reading an article about South Korean writer Han Kang. I recently read her novel The Vegetarian.
Rather distractedly I’m washing out the little faithful Bialetti and assembling it for that first cup of coffee of the day. Full of caffeine anticipation of that first hit.
The phone rings. Rarely do I answer it. Someone else has been allocated my number in the directory. So usually it’s for a man called… oh I shouldn’t say. But I don’t need to know his tax details, want to hear from his animal feed suppliers or listen to a message that someone has passed away.
But this morning it rings and rings. Irritatingly insistent. I tamp down the coffee and screw the body together. Put it on the hob.
I lunge at the phone just in case it stops ringing. I force out, Hello. The caller says, It’s only me. And I smile. Feel ecstatic. We text, we email but we never talk on the phone. Its good to hear her voice.
From the kitchen comes a clunk. I keep talking. My mind filled with masturbatory fantasies about this woman.
We’ve been on the phone for 15 mins when I smell plastic burning. It should be the aroma of coffee. Baby I got to hang up. Fuck, fuck, fuck. It’s like premature ejaculation. I can hear her sigh of disbelief.
Now it’s shit, shit, shit. The acrid smell of the handle lying on the ceramic hob melting. I guess I forgot to put water into the coffee pot. If I tell her all this will she laugh?
Next time the phone rings complete tasks first and ring back later.