Phone a Friend

This is the thing about Deeky's and my friendship: We never talk on the phone.

As has been well documented, we are obsessive texters and emailers, and we send each other ridiculous pictures, have ridiculous conversations, and watch garbage TV together regularly. We also have some very meaningful conversations about important things, but who the fuck cares, and, even if someone else besides us did, there are some things too precious to share.

But what we don't do is call each other.

There's no particular reason, apart from the fact that we're both socially awkward dorkbags. You'd think two people who spend inordinate amounts of time conspiring to make each other laugh would want to occasionally hear that laughter, but LOL 4 REALZ! seems to suffice.

So when I texted Deeks one night recently, "I need to call you," he answered his phone with alarm. "Are you okay? Is everything okay?"

"Everything's fine," I assured him. "This is the stupidest phone conversation you will ever have in your life."

He laughed, with mirth and relief. Deeky has a great laugh. "Okay," he said, knowing for sure that my prediction would be true. "What is it?"

"There's a piece of film stuck in my head and I can't place it," I told him. "You are my only hope." This, I need to tell you, is not hyperbole. We have a pop cultural frame of reference so similar and so vast that I can make virtually any obnoxiously obscure allusion and he immediately gets the joke. And vice versa. I can quote half a line of dialogue or half a song lyric that the writers of the words themselves don't remember, and Deeky will finish it without hesitation. If there's some bit of detritus stuck in the lint trap from which only identification will aid its extraction, no one else has the requisite psychological spelunking skills besides Deeks. "It's playing on a loop and I can't think what film it's from."

"You are such an asshole," Deeky said, laughing even harder. And of course getting curious. "What's the scene?"

"Okay," I began, my voice already cracking with laughter because I knew the true stupidity of what I was about to share. "It's this scene, of this guy, this actor, and I can't think of his name—I mean, I don't think I've ever known it—but he's like a character actor who's been in a few things, nothing I can name, and he's about our age, and he's got red hair and a sort of weepy face—"

"A weepy face!" Deeky laughed. "Ohmigod. Go on."

"Yeah, like a real weepy wehhhhh sort of weepy face," I laughed, "and in this scene, he's like wearing a robe or a cloak I think? And he's part of a male-centric group, like a priesthood or a boys' school, like there's a feeling in the scene like from Dead Poets Society, but it's definitely not from Dead Poets Society, and he's just done something cowardly—"

"The weepy face guy?"

"Yeah, he's just failed to act to save someone, or he's been a traitor, or something like that," I continue, "and the protagonist, whoever it is, maybe like pushes by him and kind of shoves him, and he collapses like his spine's made of jelly, and his weepy face is all wehhhhh as he falls over. Do you know what I'm talking about?"

Now after years and years of saying vague nonsense to each other and having the other know precisely what we mean, I half expected Deeky to come out with the name of a movie that placed this random image into its context and soothe my looping brain. But that did not happen.

"So, what you've got is a weepy-faced red-haired guy who might be wearing a cape—"

"Not a cape! A robe or a cloak! Maybe a vestment!"

"—wearing MAYBE A VESTMENT who falls over because he's a coward."

"Yep! What movie is that from? It's driving me up the wall that I can't place it!"

At this point, I was laughing so hard that tears were running down my cheeks. Deeky was laughing. Iain, listening to this exchange and showing me pictures of random red-haired actors, from Robert Redford to Carrot Top, was laughing.

"I have no idea what the fuck you're talking about!" Deeky informed me, crushing my hopes for getting the scene out of my head, where it runs on a loop still, like a fingerprint on a computer screen in a crime series, while millions of databased prints scan past, trying to find a match.

"I find that hard to believe," I replied, "given the quality of the information I gave you."

We LOLLED 4 REALZ some more, and then we hung up the phone, and texted each other about how we should really phone each other more often.

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