Veron Isaac had no reason to reach for his phone but did it anyways, a kneejerk turned elbowjerk reaction thinking he was not alone.  He felt into the left breast pocket of his ski-jacket and discovered that his cell phone was stuck inside.  He could feel the phone through the lining and grasp it in his hands.  This being the age of reason, he concluded that the phone had simply slipped through an undetected rip in the lining—at which point, the phone rang.

Mass is mere probability, a coincidence of electrons squirming in rhythm.  The smallest syncopation of this group buzz would shift time-space into parallel universes.  Veron pondered, but didn't buy it.  His universe was perpendicular: lie down or stand up.  Still, a table being a table just might be a bluff in this game of cosmic poker.  A split second wasted on an inefficient snag of floss launches the mouth into some sub-chronology in which said mouth is forever one word      behind.

The mouth says      "H-hello?"

Veron Isaac's attempts to open his phone within the taut confines of his ski-jacket's lining were in the anxious category.  His father, keen on > than or = to 60% OFF blowout sales, bought two ski-jackets and gave his son one.  Neither of them skied, and neither of them felt like family.  Everything was probability, even genealogy, a coincidence of sperm squirming in the right direction.  Veron somehow managed to open the phone from within the jacket.

"H-hello?" he panted.


It sounded like heavy breathing on the other end, but could've been the lining.  The call ended swiftly yet vaguely.  Veron, growing more and more upset, violently took off his jacket to inspect every stitch.  He searched for twenty minutes then gave up.  There were simply no tears through which his phone could have fallen.  The philosophical implications of such material transgression felt like being born again, as if it took this kind of empty koan of a phone call to get the point across.  He smiled briefly, then grew sour again.

Veron sat on the futon and mouthed an IPA.  In the absence of hope there are hops.  So the moon is a poker chip, big deal.  This was not divine intervention but a sick joke.  From quantum physics to creationism, everything was a hand scribbled excuse.  He got up, said "fuck god," and grabbed a pair of scissors from the drawer.  He cut into his jacket with self-summoned faith—faith that the phone-shaped thing inside his jacket was actually his phone, and that the caller ringing that very moment would not be
you      know      who.   

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