The phone booth looks old and deserted from a distance. But when i walk one block closer, i see that it’s old, but not deserted. There’s a woman standing in it. She’s talking on her cellphone. There’s no phone in the booth, but there’s a phone book hanging from a chain. The phone book is thin.. which makes sense, because this town has a population of two hundred and forty three. I haven’t seen a booth like this in ages. I thought they’d all been removed. But this one remains.. right in front of Callahan’s Pharmacy. No Walgreens or Rite Aid here. Hard to believe an independent drugstore can survive out here. What a throwback. I stop a few feet from the phone booth because i’m curious. Obviously this woman wants privacy.. that’s why she’s closed herself in there. As far as i can see, though, we are the only two humans around. It’s Sunday and Callahan’s is closed. She turns and sees me, and i back away because i realize i’m staring. I also realize this woman is dressed like it’s 1935. Clearly, i’ve entered the Twilight Zone.. or something closely resembing it. I walk a few feet farther away and face the other direction. She steps out of the booth, and says, excuse me, sir.. can you help me? My car won’t start, and i’m terribly lost. It’s then that she looks me up and down. I’m wearing a gray tee shirt, old jeans and sneakers. I have my long hair in a pony tail. She doesn’t know what to make of me. And i realize that she doesn’t have a cellphone. She’s holding a silver compact. I’m questioning my sanity. I look around and there’s still no one else on the street. I parked a couple of blocks away. I figured the walk around town would do me good. I’ve been driving for at least four hours and was getting tired of sitting on my butt.
Then this woman says.. i should introduce myself. I’m Celine Maas. You are?
I’m Rick. Rick Davis. We shake hands.
We could go into this Callahan’s and get coffee or some pie.
And i say.. the drugstore’s closed. It’s Sunday. Celine looks confused again.
It’s Monday, Rick.
Then i look around, and there are now a dozen people walking up and down the sidewalk. A man comes out of Callahan’s, and i hear a little bell chime. The man walks up to me.. slaps me on the back and says, hey there, Rick! You’ve been gone a long time! You need a haircut. Come see me at four this afternoon, and i’ll take care of you. Just had a slice of cherry pie at the counter back there. Your favorite. Irene is saving you a piece! …
By M. Raynes
PS. To be continued sometime in the future.. or the past? 🙂