Destination: Pacific Coast

Third entry

"Ummm...yeah, is James Bradford around?" I hate talking on the phone. I don't understand the draw at all. They could have left this invention inside Bell's apartment to collect two hundred years of dust and I would not have been any worse for wear. It feels like a gut punch every time. What is natural about floating in from the sky, through electromagnetic waves, and talking directly into someone's ear? Demons do that.

"BOSS!" I heard from the other end, did he really have to shout? I supposed so, it must be loud where James works. James owns a chain of indoor gymnasiums for toddlers, and grade schoolers. The kind of place tired parents can roll up to, grab a coffee (or many) from the counter, and watch their kids from a safe distance get pummelled by plastic ball pit balls, run over by various carpet bikes, jumped on, on insanely large trampolines, while they halfheartedly mention that Johnny shouldn't push others from the comfort of their dinning table, but whatever, just as long as they didn't have to be involved.

"Yeah?" The voice was robust and familiar, also suddenly resonating like fireworks inside my ear, I might add.

"Hey! James, it's me Ross," I gulped not really having a plan, but then suddenly realising I didn't have one.

"Yo! Man, it's been a long time! How ya been?" I could hear various forms of screaming behind him. Some in distress, some were tired cries of toddlers, and some were just for the song of it. I think kids enjoy screaming, they did at that moment, anyway.

"Good, good...I've been doing well." Where in fire am I going with this? Somehow we had to get from screaming kids running loop-d-loops around James' ankles, and pleasantries, to our friend Kent, who by all appearances had gone off the map. I would too if I were him....

"Do you have a minute to talk?" I asked, knowing full well he didn't.

"No, but I will make the time," I could almost see his smile over the phone, "give me a minute, k?"

I heard some mumbling as I waited. He was probably giving a set of directions to his cross eyed teenaged employee (he better repeat himself, I thought), or loosening the grip of some kid attached to his leg. I was not envious of his job, not one iota, but I knew he loved it. Loved every minute of it.

"What's up?" the screaming had subsided, at least.

"It's about Kent," I dropped the name like a dead weight.



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