Jeremy Britton |
ON THE PHONE
1 Danny Calls Brian
2 Brian Calls Matt
3 Brian Calls Lucy
4 Lucy Calls Brian
5 Danny Calls Brian
1) Danny Calls Brian
—Danny, what's up?
—You're not gonna believe who I talked to on Facebook last night.
—Hung Le! Hung bare-Le! It's been nineteen years, nineteen years since that bastard dropped off the face of the earth.
—Hung Le. . . .
—I've called his parents, left messages. I went to his parents' house one Christmas. Nothing.
—Hung fair-Le high!
—So he's still alive. . . .
—I told him I was going to kill him if I ever saw him. Huh-huh-huh-huh-huh.
—What's he doing?
—He lives in Bakersfield. I had heard he was still in California. He's a pharmacist. Has a wife and two kids.
—Oh man, little Hung Le’s!
—Is he playing soccer?
—I don't know. . . . I can't believe I talked to him.
—Does he come up to Portland at all?
—I'll have to ask him about that.
—Did he say if he played at Pacific?
—He didn't play. I would have known about that. We actually played Pacific one time down there. I was looking for the little gay-wad.
—Unbelievable. What the hell must have happened? Everything was normal all the way through graduation and then bang, he's gone. I remember him at the graduation party at the athletic club. I want to say we were playing basketball. I think that was the last time I saw him.
—I told him every week I've been googling Hung and Gay Porn Star, trying to find him.
—I'm sure you found something!
—Aah. . . .
—So how's work? I haven't talked to you in a while.
—It's good. Been working hard lately. I don't think I've seen you since the tournament in Federal Way last summer.
—I was wondering if you were pullin' a Hung!
—Yeah, well, no. I don't know. I've just been working.
—Still working on the light rail?
—Yeah, that's still going on.
—You guys would be done if you didn't take all those coffee breaks.
—I'm on coffee break right now! I left for coffee Monday morning at nine, after checking my email, and I've been on break ever since.
—Actually, I'm in Atlanta right now.
—There's a fantastic coffee shop here.
—No, I'm here for a conference.
—Do the MAX trains stop for coffee at nine and three?
—Yeah. There's a Starbucks at every stop.
—What are you up to?
—Coming home from the track. We had practice tonight.
—Is that with Allison?
—You should see her run the four hundred. She is fast. She's under seventy seconds. That's really fast for a ten year old. She's beating girls two years older.
—Wow. Is Joey doing anything?
—Joey's a big boy. Not much of a runner. He is throwing the shot put now. He's gonna be a lineman when he gets older. I already drafted him for my fantasy football team.
—The kids have a meet this weekend in Medford. We're going down with Michelle's parents.
—That should be fun. Hey, we should get together and watch a Timbers game or something. You been watching the Timbers?
—I've been to a few games.
—At the stadium?
—Yeah. Friends have had extra tickets.
—I've only been to two games. My neighbor has season tickets and I've gone when his wife can't go.
—I've been to several, seven or eight.
—It's pretty cool, huh? I've really enjoyed following them this year. I've seen every game but one on TV.
—You know that kid Madison went to PSU?
—Oh really? I didn't know that.
—He's a pretty good little player.
—He's been getting in the games lately. His speed makes a big difference on the wing. Been getting around defenders and putting in some good crosses.
—I might be able to get some tickets to the next game.
—Well, even if you don't we should watch it at a bar or something, maybe shoot some pool. It's been too long since we hung out.
—Give me a call. I'm getting off the freeway here.
—All right. Talk to you later, Danny.
2) Brian Calls Matt
—Jackson, this is Jackson.
—Jack Ass! Hey man, how's it going?
—Good, good. I'm in Atlanta for a conference.
—Yeah. I had to give a presentation today on the light rail project we're working on. About the alignment challenges.
—Cool. How'd that go?
—Pretty good. I think it went okay. I get nervous for these things.
—Did you follow Merv's one-slide-per-minute rule?
—That jack ass.
—Well, what are you up to these days? How is Paula doing?
—We're doing well. Work has been insane lately. We're building a bunch of shit in Dubai.
—Yeah. Abu Dhabi dude. Heh-heh-heh.
—What are you guys building there?
—We're working on the highways they're putting in. Dude, you would not believe the money they throw around over there. There was this cut that needed some serious shoring. . . . No problem. What's it gonna take. Bam, there's the money. It's incredible.
—That's a lot different than working at TriMet.
—It's insane. We're going over there for six months, in a few weeks.
—Really? You're going to Dubai?
—Yeah. Paula's going too. And dude, we have a bun in the oven.
—What? Jackson Hole! That's great. Congratulations.
—How far along is it?
—Three months. We're probably going to have the baby over there.
—Are you . . . worried about that at all?
—Uh, yeah. But they have a good hospital there.
—Why doesn't Paula just stay in New Jersey? I guess you guys want to be together?
—Yeah, I'm kind of stressed about it. I don't know. It's causing some rumblings with the grandparents-to-be, that's for sure.
—I'm sure it'll be all right. This must happen all the time. People have babies all over the place.
—Yeah. Whatever. It'll be all right. . . . So how's Lucy?
—She's good, good. Playing a lot of soccer. She's working out a lot. She's on an exercise kick lately.
—Yeah. I haven't been playing soccer the last few months. My indoor team took the summer off and we haven't gotten back in the league.
—We have a company team in the rec league. We all suck except for this guy from Greece. He's pretty phenomenal. All we try to do is pass him the ball and make runs down the field and let him hit us with the ball in front of the goal. It's pathetic.
—Well, that's good you've been playing.
—It's good exercise.
—You watch the Red Bulls at all?
—I've seen some games on TV. Dude, Henry is awesome.
—Oh, that's right, you're an Arsenal fan!
—Arsenal is sucking now. No fucking defense.
—van Persie is playing well though. I've seen him score some amazing goals.
—Well, Jack-less, I should probably sign off. I'm kind of wiped out after stressing over my presentation and I still have to call Lucy.
—Jack and Jill!
—Good luck in Dubai. Send me an email when you get there. I'd like to hear how it is. It's hard to imagine you over there. You better bring a lot of sunscreen!
—No shit, Jackson. It's going to be fucking ridiculous.
—All right, Matt, take it easy.
—Talk to you later.
—Later Jack Ass.
3) Brian Calls Lucy
—How are you?
—I just made dinner.
—Oh. What are you having?
—. . . .
—Hold on a second. . . . Pasta.
—Mmm, yummy. Did you have a good day today?
—That's good. Anything exciting happening there?
—No. I just got home.
—Okay, well, I meant the whole day.
—. . . .
—I gave my presentation today.
—Did they cheer and give you a standing ovation? Encore, encore!
—No. It went okay though, I think. There was one question I didn't answer very well.
—. . . .
—Are you okay Lucy?
—Yes. I just made dinner and I'm hungry.
—I worked out at noon and I didn't get to eat lunch because Megan had to have a meeting at one. So all I had was an apple this afternoon.
—Well, I'll let you eat your dinner.
—. . . .
—You have a good night, Brian.
—I'm going to bed now. It's ten-thirty here.
—All right. Talk to you later.
—Good night, Brian.
4) Lucy Calls Brian
—Hi Lucy. How are you?
—Good. How is my Brian-pie?
—I'm doing okay. Looking forward to being home though. The conference is getting kind of old now. There were a couple good presentations today but mostly it was boring.
—When will you be home?
—Tomorrow night. I can't remember when exactly. Let me look. . . . There's a session in the morning then the conference is over. All right. Let's see. I get to Portland at six-thirty.
—Yay, Brian! Yay, Brian!
—You're in a good mood today. That's good.
—I went for a hard run at lunch. Julie went with me and we ran up the hill on Morgan. It was a good one.
—You're a real athlete!
—You're a math-lete!
—Did you have a nice dinner tonight?
—Not really. I just went to the food court at the mall next door and had Chinese food. It was okay. Did you eat?
—Uh-huh. I had a nice salad from the garden. It was delicious.
—Yes, very healthy.
—I talked to Danny and Matt yesterday. Danny called me and after that I called Matt. I called Vlad, too, but got his voicemail.
—You got to talk to your amigos. Danny. . . . What did he call about?
—Oh, this guy we were friends with in high school, Hung Le. He dropped off the face of the earth after we graduated. We were all close friends and he really did just disappear. I haven't talked to him since the night we graduated. It’s weird. But Danny found him on Facebook and they exchanged messages.
—Yeah. I have no idea what happened to him. He was always quiet. I actually thought he might have been gay. He never had a girlfriend or ever talked about girls. After high school it's like he just wanted to start a brand new life or something.
—. . . .
—It kind of seemed like he had a crush on Danny, but I don't know that for sure. I didn't make that connection till we were out of school.
—Hmmmm. . . .
—It was fun talking to Danny. And Matt. Those guys, and Vlad, I'd say, are the kind of friends I can not talk to in a long time, and then when we talk, it's like we talked yesterday.
—Marta is like that.
—They're good friends. I don't do anything with my friends anymore. I don't know why. . . .
—Did you go running today, Brian-pie?
—No . . . but I walked around a little after eating at the mall.
—Well, you can do your push-ups tonight. Two sets of twenty-five.
—Oh, I already did them. I actually did four sets of twenty-five tonight. What the heck.
—Sure you did.
—You have to do your push-ups and running so you don't get a big ol' beer belly.
—I'm not getting a beer belly. I have a fast metabolism. Does it look like I'm getting a beer belly?
—That's what I thought.
—. . . .
—I'm ready to be home.
—Brian will be home tomorrow! Do you want me to take you out for a nice dinner?
—That sounds good. I don't want to go somewhere too fancy though. Since I'll have been on the plane all day I'll want to relax and stretch out.
—Okay. Where do you want to go?
—We can go to Jimmy's.
—Well, it's ten-forty five here so I should get ready for bed. I'm going to read my book and then fall asleep.
—You sleep well, Brian-pie. And tomorrow you get to come home. And I get to give you a big squeeze hug.
—That sounds nice. I love you Lovely-Lu.
—I love you too Brian-pie.
5) Danny Calls Brian
—Hung Le committed suicide.
—No. He OD'd on some prescription drugs.
—No. . . . Come on!
—It's true Brian. I'm not joking.
—What. . . . How did you find out?
—He said he was coming home for Thanksgiving with his wife and kids so I went over there today to see if he was there. His parents told me. There were a bunch of people over there, his aunt and uncle and his cousins.
—When did he do it?
—Tuesday. His wife found him at home.
—Was there a note or. . . . Why?
—I have no idea. I haven't seen him in nineteen years! I finally find him on Facebook. . . .
—Shit. What the hell happened to him? I never would have thought this.
—I know. It's really weird. I mean . . . I don't know.
—He told you he was coming to Portland?
—On Facebook. He said he was coming home for Thanksgiving and I told him I was going to. . . . I was kidding around.
—When was that?
—Man, this is strange.
—I saw his sister. After his parents told me he committed suicide, I was leaving and she came out and told me about the overdose.
—. . . .
—She said Hung's wife and kids flew to LA to be with her parents, which is kind of weird. You'd think they'd come up to be with Hung's family.
—Man. . . .
—His sister gave me a photo of him. It's me and him with our arms around each other after we beat Jamison our senior year. She said it was in his bedroom.
—. . . .
—Hey, I gotta go. I'm at the track.
—Let's go get some beers soon. I'm gonna call Peter and Jason and the guys from the team and set something up.
—That's a good idea.
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