From: amerikanische botschaft
The following takes place between 11pm and 2am on the day of Wolfgang Staehle's visit to the American Embassy
For some reason I remember standing in a phone booth at a 76 Station in Palm Desert at nine-thirty on a Sunday night, late last August, waiting for a phone call from Blair, who was leaving for New York the next morning for three weeks to join her father on location. I was wearing jeans and a T-shirt and an old baggy argyle sweater and tennis shoes with no socks and my hair was unbrushed and I was smoking a cigarette. And from where I was standing, I could see a bus stop with four or five people sitting or standing under the fluorescent streetlights, waiting. There was a teenage boy, maybe fifteen, sixteen, who I thought was hitchhiking and I was feeling on edge and I wanted to tell the boy something, but the bus came and the boy got on. I was waiting in a phone booth with no door and the Day-Glo light was insistent and giving me a headache. A parade of ants marched across an empty yogurt cup that I put my cigarette out into. It was strange that night. There were three phone booths at this particular gas station on that Sunday night last August and each booth was being used. There was a young surfer in the booth next to mine in OP shorts and a yellow T-shirt with "MAUI" etched across it and I was pretty sure that he was waiting for the bus. I didn't think the surfer was talking to anyone; that he was pretending to be talking and that there was no one listening on the other end and all I could keep thinking about was is it better to pretend to talk than not talk at all and I kept remembering this night at Disneyland with Blair. The surfer kept looking over at me and I kept turning away, waiting for the phone to ring. A car pulled up with a license plate that read "GABSTOY" and a girl with a black Joan Jett haircut, probably Gabs, and her boyfriend, who was wearing a black Clash T-shirt, got out of the car, motor still running, and I could hear the strains of an old Squeeze song. I finished another cigarette and lit one more. Some of the ants were drowning in the yogurt. The bus came by. People got on. Nobody got off. And I kept thinking about that night at Disneyland and thinking about New Hampshire and about Blair and me breaking up.