Dorothy Parker, Una llamada telefónica

Una llamada telefónica
Por favor, Dios, que llame ahora. Querido Dios, que me llame ahora. No voy a pedir nada más de ti, realmente no lo haré. No es mucho pedir. Sería tan poco para ti, Dios, una cosa tan, tan pequeña. Solo deja que llame ahora. Por favor, Dios. Por favor, por favor, por favor.
Si no pienso en eso, tal vez el teléfono suene. A veces lo hace. Si pudiera pensar en otra cosa. Si pudiera pensar en otra cosa. Quizá si cuento hasta quinientos de cinco en cinco, suene antes de que termine. Voy a contar lentamente. Sin trampas. Y si suena cuando llegue a trescientos, no voy a parar, no voy a contestar hasta que llegue a quinientos. Cinco, diez, quince, veinte, veinticinco, treinta, treinta y cinco, cuarenta, cuarenta y cinco, cincuenta... Oh, por favor, llama. Por favor.
Esta es la última vez que voy a mirar el reloj. No voy a mirar de nuevo. Son las siete y diez. Dijo que llamaría a las cinco. "Te llamaré a las cinco, cariño." Creo que fue en ese momento que dijo: "cariño". Estoy casi segura de que fue en ese momento. Sé que me llamó "cariño" dos veces, y la otra fue cuando me dijo adiós. "Adiós, cariño." Estaba ocupado, y no puede hablar mucho en la oficina, pero me llamó "cariño" dos veces. Mi llamada no puede haberlo molestado. Sé que no debemos llamarlos muchas veces; sé que no les gusta. Cuando lo haces ellos saben que estás pensando en ellos y que los quieres, y hace que te odien. Pero yo no había hablado con él en tres días, tres días. Y todo lo que hice fue preguntarle cómo estaba, justo como cualquiera puede llamar y preguntarle. No puede haberle molestado eso. No podía haber pensado que lo estaba molestando. "No, por supuesto que no", dijo. Y dijo que me llamaría. Él no tenía que decir eso. No se lo pedí, en verdad no lo hice. Estoy segura de que no lo hice. No creo que él prometa llamarme y luego nunca lo haga. Por favor, no le permitas hacer eso, Dios. Por favor, no.
"Te llamaré a las cinco, cariño." "Adiós, cariño." Estaba ocupado, y tenía prisa, y había gente a su alrededor, pero me llamó "cariño" dos veces. Eso es mío, mío. Tengo eso, aunque nunca lo vea de nuevo. Oh, pero es tan poco. No es suficiente. Nada es suficiente si no lo vuelvo a ver. Por favor, déjame volver a verlo, Dios. Por favor, lo quiero tanto. Lo quiero mucho. Voy a ser buena, Dios. Voy a tratar de ser mejor persona, lo haré, si me dejas verlo de nuevo. Si lo dejas que me llame. Oh, deja que me llame ahora.
Ah, no desprecies mi oración, Dios. Tú te sientas ahí, tan blanco y anciano, con todos los ángeles alrededor y las estrellas deslizándose en tu entorno. Y yo te vengo implorando por una llamada telefónica. Ah, no te rías, Dios. Verás, tú no sabes cómo se siente. Estás tan seguro, allí en tu trono, con el gran azul remoloneando debajo de ti. Nada puede tocarte, nadie puede torcer tu corazón en su mano. Esto es sufrimiento, Dios, esto es sufrimiento malo, malo. ¿No me ayudarás? Por el amor de tu Hijo, ayúdame. Dijiste que harías lo que se te pidiera en su nombre. Oh, Dios, en el nombre de tu único y amado Hijo, Jesucristo, nuestro Señor, que me llame ahora.
Tengo que parar esto. No debo ser así. Veamos. Supón que un hombre joven dice que va a llamar a una chica, y luego pasa algo y no lo hace. No es tan terrible, ¿verdad? ¿Por qué? Está pasando en todo el mundo en este mismo momento. Oh, ¿qué me importa lo que esté pasando en todo el mundo? ¿Por qué no puede sonar el teléfono? ¿Por qué no puede? ¿Por qué no? ¿No podrías sonar? Vamos, por favor, ¿no? Maldita cosa fea y brillante. ¿Es que te haría daño sonar? Oh, eso te haría daño. ¡Maldita sea! Voy a arrancar tus raíces sucias de la pared y te romperé esa cara negra y engreída en pequeños trozos. Vete al infierno.
No, no, no. Tengo que parar. Tengo que pensar en otra cosa. Esto es lo que voy a hacer. Voy a poner el reloj en la otra habitación. Entonces no podré verlo. Si quisiera mirarlo, tendría que entrar al dormitorio, y eso sería algo que hacer. Tal vez, antes de que yo lo vea de nuevo, él me llame. Voy a ser tan dulce con él, si me llama. Si dice que no puede verme esta noche, le diré: "No te preocupes, está bien, cariño. En serio, por supuesto que está bien." Voy a ser exactamente como era cuando lo conocí. Entonces tal vez le guste de nuevo. Yo era siempre dulce, entonces. Oh, es tan fácil ser dulce con la gente antes de amarla.
Creo que todavía debo gustarle un poco. No me habría llamado "cariño" dos veces hoy si ya no le gustara. No todo se ha perdido si todavía le gusto un poco, aunque sea solo un poquito. Verás, Dios, si dejaras que me llamara, no tendría que pedirte nada más. Sería dulce con él, sería alegre, justo del modo en que solía ser, y entonces él me amará otra vez. Y entonces yo nunca tendría que pedirte nada más. ¿No ves, Dios? Así que, ¿dejarías que me llame ahora? ¿Podrías, por favor, por favor?
¿Me estás castigando, Dios, por haber sido mala? ¿Estás enojado conmigo? Oh, pero, Dios, hay personas tan malas; no puedes castigarme solo a mí. Y no hice tanto mal, no podía haber sido tanto. No le hice daño a nadie, Dios. Las cosas solo son malas cuando se lastiman personas. No herí una sola alma, tú lo sabes. Tú sabes que no hice mal, ¿no, Dios? Así que, ¿dejarás que me llame ahora?
Si no me llama, voy a saber que Dios está enojado conmigo. Voy a contar a quinientos de cinco en cinco, y si no me ha llamado entonces, sabré que Dios no va a ayudarme nunca más. Esa será la señal. Cinco, diez, quince, veinte, veinticinco, treinta, treinta y cinco, cuarenta, cuarenta y cinco, cincuenta, cincuenta y cinco... Hice mal. Yo sabía que hacía mal. Muy bien, Dios, mándame al infierno. Crees que me asustas con tu infierno, ¿no? Eso piensas. Que tu infierno es peor que el mío.
No debo. No debo hacer esto. Supón que se le hizo tarde para llamarme; no hay que ponerse histérica. Tal vez no va a llamar; tal vez ya viene para acá sin llamar por teléfono. Se desconcertará si ve que he estado llorando. No les gusta que llores. No llores. Pido a Dios que pudiera hacerlo llorar. Me gustaría poder hacerlo llorar y rodar por el suelo y sentir su corazón pesado, grande y supurante dentro de él. Me gustaría poder hacerle pasar un infierno.
Él no me desea un infierno a mí. Ni siquiera sé si sabe lo que siento por él. Me gustaría que lo supiera, pero sin yo decirle. No les gusta que les digas que te han hecho llorar. No les gusta que les digas que eres infeliz por culpa de ellos. Si lo haces, piensan que eres posesiva y exigente. Y luego te odian. Te odian cada vez que dices algo que realmente piensas. Siempre tienes que seguir con los jueguitos. Oh, pensé que no era necesario, yo pensaba que esto era tan grande que podía decir lo que quería. Supongo que no se puede, nunca. Supongo que no hay nada lo suficientemente grande como para eso, jamás. ¡Oh, si él me llamara, no le diría que había estado triste por su culpa. Odian a la gente triste. Sería tan dulce y alegre que no podría evitar encariñarse conmigo. Si tan solo me llamara. Si tan solo me llamara.
Tal vez eso está haciendo. Tal vez viene para acá sin llamarme. Tal vez está en camino. Quizá le ocurrió algo. No, nada puede pasarle a él. No puedo siquiera imaginar tal cosa. Nunca me lo imagino atropellado. Nunca lo he visto tirado, quieto y largo y muerto. Me gustaría que estuviera muerto. Es un deseo terrible. Es un deseo encantador. Si estuviera muerto sería mío. Si estuviera muerto nunca pensaría en hoy y estas últimas semanas. Solo recordaría los tiempos espléndidos. Todo sería hermoso. Me gustaría que estuviera muerto. Me gustaría que estuviera muerto, muerto, muerto.
Qué tontería. Es una tontería ir por ahí deseando que personas mueran, tan solo porque no te llamaron a la hora que dijeron. Tal vez el reloj se adelantó, no sé si tiene la hora correcta. Quizá su tardanza no es real. Cualquier cosa podría haberlo retrasado un poco. Tal vez tuvo que quedarse en la oficina. Tal vez fue a su casa, para llamarme desde ahí, y alguien lo visitó. No le gusta llamarme delante de la gente. Tal vez está preocupado, aunque sea un poco, de tenerme esperando. Puede que incluso espere que yo lo llame. Yo podría hacer eso. Podría llamarlo.
No debo. No debo, no debo. Oh, Dios, por favor, no me dejes hacerlo. Por favor, prevén que me atreva. Yo sé, Dios, tan bien como tú, que si se preocupara por mí habría llamado sin importar dónde esté ni cuánta gente tiene alrededor. Por favor hazme saberlo, Dios. No te pido que me lo hagas fácil ni me ayudes; no puedes hacerlo, aunque pudiste crear un mundo entero. Solo hazme saberlo, Dios. No me dejes seguir con esperanzas. No quiero seguir reconfortándome. Por favor, no dejes que me llene de esperanzas, querido Dios. No, por favor.
No voy a llamarlo. Nunca lo llamaré de nuevo mientras viva. Puede pudrirse en el infierno antes de que lo llame. No hace falta que me des fuerza, Dios, ya la tengo. Si él me quiere, puede tenerme. Él sabe dónde estoy. Él sabe que estoy esperando aquí. Él está tan seguro de mí, tan seguro. Me pregunto por qué nos odian tan pronto están seguros de una. Pienso que sería tan dulce estar seguro.
Sería tan fácil llamarlo. Entonces sabría todo. Tal vez no sería tan tonto. Tal vez no le molestaría. Tal vez hasta le gustaría. Tal vez ha estado tratando de llamarme. A veces la gente trata y trata de llamar a alguien, pero el número no responde. No estoy diciendo eso para confortarme, eso pasa de verdad. Tú sabes que ocurre de verdad, Dios. Oh, Dios, mantenme lejos de ese teléfono. Mantenme lejos. Permíteme quedarme con un poco de orgullo. Creo que voy a necesitarlo, Dios. Creo que será lo único que tendré.
Oh, ¿qué importa el orgullo cuando no puedo soportar estar sin hablarle? Este orgullo es tan tonto y miserable. El verdadero orgullo, el grande, consiste en no tener orgullo. No estoy diciendo eso solo porque quiera llamarlo. No. Eso es verdad, yo sé que es verdad. Voy a ser grande. Voy a librarme de los orgullos pequeños.
Por favor, Dios, impídeme llamarlo. Por favor, Dios.
No veo qué tiene que ver el orgullo aquí. Esto es una cosa demasiado pequeña para meter el orgullo, para armar tal alboroto. Puede que lo haya malinterpretado. Tal vez él me dijo que lo llamara a las cinco. "Llámame a las cinco, cariño." Él pudo haber dicho eso, perfectamente. Es muy posible que no haya escuchado bien. "Llámame a las cinco, cariño." Estoy casi segura de que eso dijo. Dios, no me dejes decirme estas cosas. Hazme saber, por favor, hazme saber.
Voy a pensar en otra cosa. Voy a sentarme en silencio. Si pudiera quedarme quieta. Si pudiera quedarme quieta. Tal vez pueda leer. Oh, todos los libros son acerca de personas que se aman verdadera y dulcemente. ¿Qué ganan escribiendo eso? ¿No saben que no es verdad? ¿Acaso no saben que es una mentira, una maldita mentira? ¿Por qué deben escribir esas cosas, si saben cómo duele? Malditos sean, malditos, malditos.
No lo haré. Voy a estar tranquila. Esto no es nada para alterarse. Mira. Supón que fuera alguien que no conozco muy bien. Supón que fuera otra chica. Entonces marcaría el teléfono y diría: "Bueno, por amor de Dios, ¿qué te ha pasado?" Eso haría, sin pensarlo apenas. ¿No puedo ser casual y natural solo porque lo amo? Puedo serlo. Honestamente, puedo serlo. Lo llamaré, y seré tan ligera y agradable. A ver si no lo haré, Dios. Oh, no dejes que lo llame. No, no, no.
Dios, ¿realmente no vas a dejar que llame? ¿Seguro, Dios? ¿No podrías, por favor, ceder? ¿No? Ni siquiera te pido que dejes que llame ahora, Dios, solo que lo haga dentro de un rato. Voy a contar quinientos de cinco en cinco. Voy a hacerlo despacio y con parsimonia. Si no ha telefoneado entonces, lo llamaré. Lo haré. Oh, por favor, querido Dios, querido Dios misericordioso, mi Padre bienaventurado en el cielo, ¡que llame antes de entonces! Por favor, Dios. Por favor.
Cinco, diez, quince, veinte, veinticinco, treinta, treinta y cinco...
Dorothy Parker (1893-1967). Una llamada telefónica (A Telephone Call, The Bookman, 1928).
Dorothy Parker


A Telephone Call
Please, God, let him telephone me now. Dear God, let him call me now. I won't ask anything else of You, truly I won't. It isn't very much to ask. It would be so little to You, God, such a little, little thing. Only let him telephone now. Please, God. Please, please, please.
If I didn't think about it, maybe the telephone might ring. Sometimes it does that. If I could think of something else. If I could think of something else. Knobby if I counted five hundred by fives, it might ring by that time. I'll count slowly. I won't cheat. And if it rings when I get to three hundred, I won't stop; I won't answer it until I get to five hundred. Five, ten, fifteen, twenty, twenty-five, thirty, thirty-five, forty, forty-five, fifty.... Oh, please ring. Please.
This is the last time I'll look at the clock. I will not look at it again. It's ten minutes past seven. He said he would telephone at five o'clock. "I'll call you at five, darling." I think that's where he said "darling." I'm almost sure he said it there. I know he called me "darling" twice, and the other time was when he said good-by. "Good-by, darling." He was busy, and he can't say much in the office, but he called me "darling" twice. He couldn't have minded my calling him up. I know you shouldn't keep telephoning them--I know they don't like that. When you do that they know you are thinking about them and wanting them, and that makes them hate you. But I hadn't talked to him in three days-not in three days. And all I did was ask him how he was; it was just the way anybody might have called him up. He couldn't have minded that. He couldn't have thought I was bothering him. "No, of course you're not," he said. And he said he'd telephone me. He didn't have to say that. I didn't ask him to, truly I didn't. I'm sure I didn't. I don't think he would say he'd telephone me, and then just never do it. Please don't let him do that, God. Please don't.
"I'll call you at five, darling." "Good-by, darling.,' He was busy, and he was in a hurry, and there were people around him, but he called me "darling" twice. That's mine, that's mine. I have that, even if I never see him again. Oh, but that's so little. That isn't enough. Nothing's enough, if I never see him again. Please let me see him again, God. Please, I want him so much. I want him so much. I'll be good, God. I will try to be better, I will, If you will let me see him again. If You will let him telephone me. Oh, let him telephone me now.
Ah, don't let my prayer seem too little to You, God. You sit up there, so white and old, with all the angels about You and the stars slipping by. And I come to You with a prayer about a telephone call. Ah, don't laugh, God. You see, You don't know how it feels. You're so safe, there on Your throne, with the blue swirling under You. Nothing can touch You; no one can twist Your heart in his hands. This is suffering, God, this is bad, bad suffering. Won't You help me? For Your Son's sake, help me. You said You would do whatever was asked of You in His name. Oh, God, in the name of Thine only beloved Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord, let him telephone me now.
I must stop this. I mustn't be this way. Look. Suppose a young man says he'll call a girl up, and then something happens, and he doesn't. That isn't so terrible, is it? Why, it's gong on all over the world, right this minute. Oh, what do I care what's going on all over the world? Why can't that telephone ring? Why can't it, why can't it? Couldn't you ring? Ah, please, couldn't you? You damned, ugly, shiny thing. It would hurt you to ring, wouldn't it? Oh, that would hurt you. Damn you, I'll pull your filthy roots out of the wall, I'll smash your smug black face in little bits. Damn you to hell.
No, no, no. I must stop. I must think about something else. This is what I'll do. I'll put the clock in the other room. Then I can't look at it. If I do have to look at it, then I'll have to walk into the bedroom, and that will be something to do. Maybe, before I look at it again, he will call me. I'll be so sweet to him, if he calls me. If he says he can't see me tonight, I'll say, "Why, that's all right, dear. Why, of course it's all right." I'll be the way I was when I first met him. Then maybe he'll like me again. I was always sweet, at first. Oh, it's so easy to be sweet to people before you love them.
I think he must still like me a little. He couldn't have called me "darling" twice today, if he didn't still like me a little. It isn't all gone, if he still likes me a little; even if it's only a little, little bit. You see, God, if You would just let him telephone me, I wouldn't have to ask You anything more. I would be sweet to him, I would be gay, I would be just the way I used to be, and then he would love me again. And then I would never have to ask You for anything more. Don't You see, God? So won't You please let him telephone me? Won't You please, please, please?
Are You punishing me, God, because I've been bad? Are You angry with me because I did that? Oh, but, God, there are so many bad people --You could not be hard only to me. And it wasn't very bad; it couldn't have been bad. We didn't hurt anybody, God. Things are only bad when they hurt people. We didn't hurt one single soul; You know that. You know it wasn't bad, don't You, God? So won't You let him telephone me now?
If he doesn't telephone me, I'll know God is angry with me. I'll count five hundred by fives, and if he hasn't called me then, I will know God isn't going to help me, ever again. That will be the sign. Five, ten, fifteen, twenty, twenty-five, thirty, thirty-five, forty, forty-five, fifty, fifty-five. . . It was bad. I knew it was bad. All right, God, send me to hell. You think You're frightening me with Your hell, don't You? You think. Your hell is worse than mine.
I mustn't. I mustn't do this. Suppose he's a little late calling me up --that's nothing to get hysterical about. Maybe he isn't going to call--maybe he's coming straight up here without telephoning. He'll be cross if he sees I have been crying. They don't like you to cry. He doesn't cry. I wish to God I could make him cry. I wish I could make him cry and tread the floor and feel his heart heavy and big and festering in him. I wish I could hurt him like hell.
He doesn't wish that about me. I don't think he even knows how he makes me feel. I wish he could know, without my telling him. They don't like you to tell them they've made you cry. They don't like you to tell them you're unhappy because of them. If you do, they think you're possessive and exacting. And then they hate you. They hate you whenever you say anything you really think. You always have to keep playing little games. Oh, I thought we didn't have to; I thought this was so big I could say whatever I meant. I guess you can't, ever. I guess there isn't ever anything big enough for that. Oh, if he would just telephone, I wouldn't tell him I had been sad about him. They hate sad people. I would be so sweet and so gay, he couldn't help but like me. If he would only telephone. If he would only telephone.
Maybe that's what he is doing. Maybe he is coming on here without calling me up. Maybe he's on his way now. Something might have happened to him. No, nothing could ever happen to him. I can't picture anything happening to him. I never picture him run over. I never see him lying still and long and dead. I wish he were dead. That's a terrible wish. That's a lovely wish. If he were dead, he would be mine. If he were dead, I would never think of now and the last few weeks. I would remember only the lovely times. It would be all beautiful. I wish he were dead. I wish he were dead, dead, dead.
This is silly. It's silly to go wishing people were dead just because they don't call you up the very minute they said they would. Maybe the clock's fast; I don't know whether it's right. Maybe he's hardly late at all. Anything could have made him a little late. Maybe he had to stay at his office. Maybe he went home, to call me up from there, and somebody came in. He doesn't like to telephone me in front of people. Maybe he's worried, just alittle, little bit, about keeping me waiting. He might even hope that I would call him up. I could do that. I could telephone him.
I mustn't. I mustn't, I mustn't. Oh, God, please don't let me telephone him. Please keep me from doing that. I know, God, just as well as You do, that if he were worried about me, he'd telephone no matter where he was or how many people there were around him. Please make me know that, God. I don't ask YOU to make it easy for me--You can't do that, for all that You could make a world. Only let me know it, God. Don't let me go on hoping. Don't let me say comforting things to myself. Please don't let me hope, dear God. Please don't.
I won't telephone him. I'll never telephone him again as long as I live. He'll rot in hell, before I'll call him up. You don't have to give me strength, God; I have it myself. If he wanted me, he could get me. He knows where I ram. He knows I'm waiting here. He's so sure of me, so sure. I wonder why they hate you, as soon as they are sure of you. I should think it would be so sweet to be sure.
It would be so easy to telephone him. Then I'd know. Maybe it wouldn't be a foolish thing to do. Maybe he wouldn't mind. Maybe he'd like it. Maybe he has been trying to get me. Sometimes people try and try to get you on the telephone, and they say the number doesn't answer. I'm not just saying that to help myself; that really happens. You know that really happens, God. Oh, God, keep me away from that telephone. Kcep me away. Let me still have just a little bit of pride. I think I'm going to need it, God. I think it will be all I'll have.
Oh, what does pride matter, when I can't stand it if I don't talk to him? Pride like that is such a silly, shabby little thing. The real pride, the big pride, is in having no pride. I'm not saying that just because I want to call him. I am not. That's true, I know that's true. I will be big. I will be beyond little prides.
Please, God, keep me from, telephoning him. Please, God.
I don't see what pride has to do with it. This is such a little thing, for me to be bringing in pride, for me to be making such a fuss about. I may have misunderstood him. Maybe he said for me to call him up, at five. "Call me at five, darling." He could have said that, perfectly well. It's so possible that I didn't hear him right. "Call me at five, darling." I'm almost sure that's what he said. God, don't let me talk this way to myself. Make me know, please make me know.
I'll think about something else. I'll just sit quietly. If I could sit still. If I could sit still. Maybe I could read. Oh, all the books are about people who love each other, truly and sweetly. What do they want to write about that for? Don't they know it isn't tree? Don't they know it's a lie, it's a God damned lie? What do they have to tell about that for, when they know how it hurts? Damn them, damn them, damn them.
I won't. I'll be quiet. This is nothing to get excited about. Look. Suppose he were someone I didn't know very well. Suppose he were another girl. Then I d just telephone and say, "Well, for goodness' sake, what happened to you?" That's what I'd do, and I'd never even think about it. Why can't I be casual and natural, just because I love him? I can be. Honestly, I can be. I'll call him up, and be so easy and pleasant. You see if I won't, God. Oh, don't let me call him. Don't, don't, don't.
God, aren't You really going to let him call me? Are You sure, God? Couldn't You please relent? Couldn't You? I don't even ask You to let him telephone me this minute, God; only let him do it in a little while. I'll count five hundred by fives. I'll do it so slowly and so fairly. If he hasn't telephoned then, I'll call him. I will. Oh, please, dear God, dear kind God, my blessed Father in Heaven, let him call before then. Please, God. Please.
Five, ten, fifteen, twenty, twentyfive, thirty, thirty-five.
Dorothy Parker (1893-1967). A Telephone Call, The Bookman, 1928.

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