Elisa Albert, "Hotline"

She answers the depression hotline and indulges a regular.

(from How This Night Is Different)

Tonight, when it rings, Miranda is reading a magazine on a couch worn down by expectation. Behind her the wall stands indignant with amateur artwork: vines like telephone cords with sick-looking leaves and absurdly colored flowers, people’s names, quotes. There are unidentifiable swirls and waves that look like whoever painted them just did so for the sake if it, giving up on anything concrete before they even started, not knowing what they wanted to say.

I wonder if I was supposed to wonder about whether or not the narrator was correct in assuming the caller was getting off to the sound of her voice. She takes it as a given; I thought the guy might just be lonely. Regardless, it’s a funny, sneaky story. Read it where it was originally published, in Pindeldyboz.

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