Alternate Title: Getting a Grip
I was window shopping on my lunch break. My phone was in my coat pocket—set to vibrate, so as not to bother my coworkers. I forgot to switch it back to ring. I missed him by 2 minutes.
I HATE that, hate it, hate it, hate it! I was in public, so I threw an internal temper tantrum. Missing a call from him gives me severe Tourette's; my initial reaction is: "#$%#@# @$^%#@$ %@#$%@ %%^!!!," followed by imagining kicking over some garbage cans, and another string of "#@%@#@ ##@$%@# %$%$^*^*"
I envision throwing my phone to the sidewalk, and smashing it into a million pieces. I'd panic, immediately, of course, pick up all the bits and reassemble the phone, in case he tried to call back in a few minutes.
I settle down a bit. I pass on browsing, and shuffle back to the car, a black cloud over my head. I open and close the phone as I walk, willing it to ring again. Ring, dammit! I swear, I'll answer it! I drive back to work, with the phone in my hand.
I console myself: There, there. He's ok. If he's calling, he's ok. He'll try again tomorrow, or next time he gets a chance.
It makes me feel a little better, so I graduate to pouting, for the next hour or two.
I'm not the only one, I know. Jeff has also missed Brian's call before, and as we keep each other posted, I've heard his frustration on the other end of the phone. The same tantrum ensues. He recently left his phone in his office for 5 minutes, and missed Brian's call. Gah! #$%#$% And I just feel awful for him, as if I'd missed my call too.
It's so important to both of us that we've taken to communicating to one another, if we know anything. Brian will sometimes send me an e-mail, mentioning that he'll try to call in a few hours. I immediately get on the phone, call Jeff, and tip him off: Do NOT leave sight of your cell phone today! Likewise, Jeff has called me before, with a message that Brian will call me in 20 minutes.
It is so frustrating, missing a call from your soldierbaby. You can't return the call. It could be days before he can call again.
I've said it before, but for all of my weeping and gnashing of teeth before Brian left, I feel like I walk around coping pretty well. When I hear his voice though, I am filled with both an immediate sense of relief and an acute awareness of how worried I really am.
After a bit of pouting, the cloud lifts.
He probably thought of something I could send him.
And that, I know, is what matters, right now, more than than sound of his voice.