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Hotline, No Bling

by Lulu Chen

I.

I know we are just worker ants meant to shorten wait times from 2 hours to 10 minutes to 18 seconds and if I take too long to solve your problem then society will tell me I am a failure, but for once is it okay if we hold space to acknowledge we are not solving your problem, only trying to make you think that we are?

II.

I know we cannot solve real problems because we are just vessels holding space, a conduit for information to pass through, all of us just one long telephone wire with resistance in our palms and static in our throats, but is there room left still to believe that information is power?

III.

I know we wield power over you by being able to subject you to hold music at any time, but is there a way to imagine that I am right next to you at the table with no seats for us, and I have never wanted a voice more than in this moment of your suffering?

IV.

I know we are just voices following a pre-recorded menu selection and you have not seen our eyes‒you cannot even be sure that we have eyes‒so when you open up your life to me like a water hyacinth, is the lake beneath you rippling in enough desperation to make you defy the logical order of things?

V.

I know we are just following orders and when the rules are reprimandable those in power tend to cover them, blaming the hyacinths for being invasive vegetation, but if you can trust me for a second may I help you to break these rules?

Lulu Chen is a medical student based in New York City. Please hold; she’s
hiding in the closet eating a snack.

Lead image: 150829-telephone-cord-corded-vintage.jpg (via Flickr user r. nial Bradshaw)