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A Tiny Phonebook


A Tiny Phonebook

In the substitute cellphone they gave me till Friday there’s no contacts list and the people who call me appear on the screen as unfamiliar phone numbers. I find the digits unpleasant – why do they come and push themselves between me and my friends like this. When I was a kid at school I had a tiny phonebook with a leather cover that grandma bought me and Daniel in the Arts Fair. In the phonebook I had written the numbers of Shira, and Daphna, and Roy, and Orna, and Sharon, and all the rest of generations of friends. The numbers were squeezed into tiny squares and written in generations of pens. They were an integral part of my friends’ character and I loved them the way you love the unique identifying marks that encompass a person only after a thorough acquaintance. Nothing was left of it. Of all my friends’ numbers I remember by heart only one number and this one also is not in frequent use. The numbers have gone underground, like the electricity and phone and sewage channels that pass underneath the city and sustain its life system. There is no chance I would call a friend and imagine the harmony, niceness and roundness of the number echoing in the air and bringing closer the moment in which one of the harmonious, nice and round family members would answer the phone.

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