Message in a Bottle / by Courtney Mehlhaff

Or: I Left My Heart at Francisco's

I went to the movies on Saturday night, and I had a voicemail waiting for me when I came out of the theater. It was from a St. Paul number that I didn't recognize, and it went like this . . .

INEBRIATED MAN:  Hey, Steve, give me a call.

OK, first of all, my outgoing message clearly says, "Hi, this is Courtney. Leave me a message and I'll get back to you as soon as I can." But again, inebriated.

INEBRIATED MAN:  I'm extremely drunk.

Duly noted.

INEBRIATED MAN:  I went to Francisco's house, and he tried to get me drunk. You won't believe it.

Excuse me, tried? He seems to have been wildly successful. And yes, we do believe it.

INEBRIATED MAN:  He's really [mumbles] for me.

I've listened to this message about 20 times, and the best I can make out is "He's really got a thing for me." Which might explain the next sentence.

INEBRIATED MAN:  Oh, I will never go again to his house. Believe me.

Dude, we believe you. (How incredulous is Steve, typically?)

INEBRIATED MAN:  Never . . . never . . . never.

Probably a good idea. Though the emphatic repetition leads me to believe some things may have happened that you're not particularly proud of.

INEBRIATED MAN:  Okay. Call me later, okay?

I do want to call this guy later. Just to check up on him. Just to let him know that his intoxicated ramblings reached across time and space (or across Verizon's network, which is equally complicated) to find me, and that I will cherish this random message long after Francisco has lost interest. It's the least I can do.