many months ago a friend called and left a lengthy message in* my voice mail about philip roth. he had just finished a roth-binge consisting of six or seven novels, and was imploring me to read a few of them, and fast, so we could discuss. (maybe he should join the philip roth society?!) at the time i had never read a novel by philip roth, though it was 'on the list' of things to eventually see to in this lifetime. after hearing that message i DID read one of roth's novels (the human stain) and would have continued, on my own binge, if i'd had that kind of time on my hands. i kept the message saved for a long time, and would listen to it every once in awhile, inspired by the enthusiasm in his voice, the sheer excitement he was feeling about the power of words, and story. i probably listened to the message a dozen or so times, when checking other voice mail messages, just for the small boost it gave. finally, i erased the message around the end of last year, during a wider-reaching effort to clean, simplify, sort, lighten my load.
too bad, because if i hadn't dumped that little audio treasure, maybe i would have sent it to laura kwerel, who's collecting phone messages to make an audio piece for transom.org. she's urging anyone who has a message saved, and a story behind that message, to send them right over. so maybe YOU didn't just delete a special phone message, and you'd like to send it to her. drop her a line for more information.
*IN my voice mail? ON my voice mail? which is it?