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Disgusted with my former self

I'm not really sure when I start saving tapes of my friends' voices. Perhaps it was sometime around 1989, when Formaldehyde* left a really funny answering machine message for my roommate's sister and I taped a copy of it (explicit details can be found here). Maybe it was after my Grandfather died, when I got a bunch of the old tapes he'd left lying around, including several of him saying things like "testing 1-2-3." I know I was doing it by the time I lived in Chicago, because I'm very grateful that I still have a tape of Dead Bob's voice. At any rate, for a number of years now, I've saved tapes of my friends' voices, and, specifically, I've kept copies of my answering machine tapes.

I've mentioned in a few other posts that I've been busy making tapes (especially now that my pool is closed and I have nothing to do). The process of rooting around looking for this obscure song or that obscure sound bite has unearthed a number of old, unlabeled tapes. I set them aside, and figured if I found myself with some time to kill, I would sit here at my computer and type out lists of what was contained on said tapes.

So I sat down this morning with a tape that had no label on the A-Side, and whose B-Side label read, cryptically, "Answering Machine, Pgh, PA." I started listening to the first side and quickly realized that these were answering machine messages from the last months that I was in Chicago.

Now, some of you knew me then, but most of you either hadn't met me yet, or had (luckily for you) lost contact with me. For those not "in the know," 1995 and 1996 were "The heroin years." Contained on this tape are:

1. About a zillion messages from my across-the-street neighbor Mike, also a junkie, saying things like "Will you be home by 5:30? Can you pick me up something tonight? I'll give you an extra $5 ..."

2. Pissed off messages from misc. long-suffering friends saying things like "I've been waiting for you for half an hour ... are you coming? Because I don't have a ride home otherwise ..." Ditto for people I worked with.

3. Very scared-sounding messages from the long-distance friends who didn't write me off altogether (including one from bishopjoey)

4. Messages from my Dad saying things like "You're gonna beat this, Champ!"


5. Messages from my Mother with that sound in her voice that makes me think she's about to vomit or faint, or maybe both

There are also one or two times where I accidentally recorded myself having phone conversations. I sound like death. I sound half asleep and completely freaked out, all at the same time. It's an awful thing to listen to.

* thanks, anarqueso


Dec. 23rd, 2003 10:02 pm (UTC)
Saving answering machine messages...
My mother saved some messages that her good friend/boyfriend Jack left on our machine, and it's good that she did... he passed away about 6 months after they started dating (a few years ago), although they had been good friends for 10 years or so.

I recall sitting with her in the living room within the last couple months, reminiscing about Jack, and she was feeling rather lonely... But we listened to a couple ridiculous messages he left... he was such a crazy, charming man. Her personal favorite went something like: "Hellooo... WAKE UP!! I have eggs, I'm coming over, and you're gonna cook for me! WAKE UP!! *click*" The text doesn't do it justice. We were laughing our asses off for minutes... it was just what she needed!

My mother is so happy she has that tape. She also accidentally taped a telemarketer fucking up their little shpiel (sp?) and cursing, then hanging up. *lol* It was great.

Save away, girlfriend. ;)

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