The Last Call

Virginia (c) 2005 Jim Glennon

For anyone who ever has frequented such an establishment as Boston’s The Black Rose, “last call” means a summons to final fortification, perhaps to a last opportunity to drown one’s sorrows . . . for one night.

There is but fleeting finality to that commonplace colloquial use of  the “last call.”

I think of something else when I hear the same phrase.  Perhaps the most heartbreaking part of the ritual for a police officer killed in the line of duty is the last call: the thrice-repeated one-way radio dispatch to the officer’s call number, which will then be retired, never to go out again.

I know of no similar ritual that so literally reinforces the finality of the unanswerable call.

My husband Jim’s voice still answers calls, both on our home answering machine and on one child’s voice mail.  I truly thought I had recorded another greeting, but apparently my technological skills do not extend even to such a seemingly small task, because just yesterday someone left a message saying it was reassuring to hear his voice again.

Earlier in the day, our friend and I looked up to the sky and directly addressed Jim, wondering if he was laughing at our inability to figure out his electrical circuit system.

I still call out to my husband.  Last week, in particularly steep depths of melancholy, I found myself outside in the sun, asking him to send me another sign, anything at all.  But ultimately I think such signals cannot be ordered up–as with a final drink and the tab–but need to arrive unbidden, to someone whose heart is open to receiving them.



(c) 2012 Stephanie M. Glennon

Author: Stephanie

In her spare time, Stephanie works full-time, and then some, as an attorney. She has published articles and delivered talks in arcane fields like forensic evidentiary issues, jury instructions, and expert scientific witness preparation. She attended law school near the the banks of the Charles River and loves that dirty water; she will always think of Boston as her home. You are welcome to take a look at her Facebook author page, or follow @SMartinGlennon on Twitter and @schnitzelpond on Instagram. Bonus points for anyone who understands the Instagram handle. All content on this blog, unless otherwise attributed, is (c) 2012-2023 by Stephanie M. Glennon and should not be reproduced (in any form other than re-blogging in accordance with the wee Wordpress buttons at the bottom of each post) without the express permission of the domain holder.

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