The 5 Stages of Being on Hold
Any second now. Any second
now someone will pick up. After
all, she said, “Hold on, I'll check,”
and it shouldn't take her that
long to check something so simple.
Besides, the recorded voice
that breaks up the Muzak keeps
saying that someone will be
with me shortly, and yeah, it's
already been like half an hour,
but if I just keep holding,
someone will be with me
any second now.
Are you fucking kidding me?
How goddamn busy are you that
you have to keep me dangling on
the line for forty-five fucking
minutes? I swear to God Himself
that if after this I ever hear
a single note of this canned music
or a second of any of these
recorded repetitive bits of “info-
rmation” interspersed within
it I'm going to completely snap.
Isn't there some kind of U.N.
resolution against torture like
this? Dear God, you've got me
so pissed off I'm agreeing with
the U.N. about something. For
fuck's sake, somebody pick up
before I go completely batshit crazy.
God, if you're listening, I swear
that if you get somebody to pick
up after this hour I've spent
waiting, I'll be a better person
in every way possible: I'll stop
swearing, eat better, visit lonely
elderly people whose grandchildren
forgot what nursing home they
dumped them in, spread peace and
love and the good Word wherever
I go, if only you'll get someone back
on the gosh darn line, okay? Okay?
I've been on hold for an hour
and a half now. I should probably
just hang up, but really, what else
do I have to do instead? Nothing,
when you get down to it; in the
end, nothing really matters and
we'll all be worm food one day anyway,
so what difference does it make if
I hang up and do something
meaningless or keep holding this
lump of plastic to my ear and
listening to the drivel dripping
from it for five minutes, hours, days
more or just give up and hang
myself right here with the phone cord?
Not much in the end, which
can't come soon enough.
It has been two hours.
It will be for eternity.
There is nothing but my ass in this
chair, the curl of the cord around
my numb finger, no larger world
than this, nothing more I could need.
Muzak is my only music; the recorded
voice is my only friend. The phone
has melded with my ear; we have
become one, one mind, one body,
one perfect entity. To hang up now
would kill us both. Why would
I ever consider such a terrible
thing? I wouldn't, won't,
regret if I ever did in the
dim dead past. I know better now.
My call is important to them.
If I stay on the line, someone
will be with me shortly.
Yes. I know this is true.
This is all there is.
This is all there will ever be.
I will keep holding on.