why I no longer skype

by Jillian Weise
Weise. The Book of Goodbyes. why i no longer skype
Skype is on your Mac on the table next to the Malbec and ashtray, next to the book that cost 120 pesos, b/c you had to have Ulysses in English. You're in some town where your name doesn't exist and they rename you, so you're never sure who they're talking to. The screen rings. It's Big Logos. He downloaded the thing. First a garbled voice comes from the keys then, "Can you hear me?" By the power of gods in Estonia, makers of software, haters of fees, the voice says your name and he's not anyone, though anyone from Terre Haute to Rome can Skype you, he's someone you know or knew. Which tense to use? Then his face appears by the folders, the clock, the Firefox, his face on his body in his bed 8,000 miles away and he says, "Give me a hug." You both grab hold of your machines. You show your eyeballs to each other, all impressed with yourselves, as if your eyeballs have not always been on your head. "Good to see you," he says. "Can you look in my eyes?" You try but you're always looking off. It's sad but it feels good like you love reading Ulysses and you love being alone near the Martial Mountains. He plays a cover of Bruce Springsteen by Lucero, and what a rad band. This is the life. This is your friend, your friend from way back, though let's be honest, he was more than that, and not to trouble you with facts, he's still more than that. You're so hot for technology. This is better than IM. You can't get enough of his pixels and it must, please tell me, it must add up, all those hours spent listening to Lucero, who is okay but, let's face it, not Springsteen, and all those hours spent watching Hulu together and now look at you, staring at your screen, which is not ringing, which will not ring. It has always been just a screen. You can't blame it for that.