[Originally published November 12, 2013.]

- - -

March 10, 1876

“Watson, come here! I want to see you!”

March 11, 1876

Hey Watson, guess who? Yeah, it’s me, it’s Aleck. How’d you know? But I was doing a voice! Did you get any sleep last night? Me neither! I was so pumped about the whole phone thing working. I know! I totally wanted to call you too, but I figured you probably went to sleep. Did you tell anybody yet? No, me, neither. I was thinking of telling Mabel, though. I bet she would think it was interesting. All right, cool. If you’re up later, though, call me. I don’t care what time it is. Cool. So… are you gonna hang up? No, you hang up first. No, you! Okay, we’ll do it at the same time. Ready? On three. One. Two. Three. Are you still there? Yeah, me, too. Okay, I’m really hanging up this time. One. Two. Three. Hello?”

March 12, 1876

“Hey, Watson, how’s it going? Nothing. Just sitting here. You? That’s cool. Hey, I had a kind of weird idea. Tell me if it sounds too creepy. You know how you have a phone and I have a phone? Don’t you think it would be cool if more people had one? I don’t know, like Mabel for instance. I just think she would like it. What? No, I don’t like her, I just think she would like the phone. I’m not obsessed with her. I just think it would be a cool experiment, to see if it could work at her house. So, I was thinking we could make it a surprise, you know? Like you could hide the phone in her house and then I could call her and she’ll hear it ringing and not know what it is and then pick up and I’ll be on the other end and I’ll say something really casual like, “Hey Mabel, it’s me, Aleck, calling from my house down the block” and she’ll be so impressed—not that I’m trying to impress her—and then we’ll know it worked. So, I was thinking if you could go to her house and sneak the phone in, that would be great. Like you could just casually knock on her door and pretend you’re delivering flowers or something. Or doing a survey on plague in the neighborhood—just something totally casual. But don’t mention me at all! Cool, thanks, Watson. You’re the best! She’s gonna be so impressed. What? No, I mean with the invention. She’s gonna be impressed with the invention. Cool, speak later."

March 15, 1876

“Hey, it’s me. Nothing. What? No, I just ate dinner. I’m not slurring my words. I’m not. Well, I think you’re drunk! I’m totally fine. I may have had a sip of wine, so what? Shut up! I’m not in the mood for this, okay? Have you heard anything from Mabel? I’ve been calling her all day, she doesn’t pick up! Yes, of course I dialed the right number—2! Don’t patronize me! You probably didn’t connect the reeds to the armature properly. I’m not saying you did it on purpose, but it does seem a little odd that she hasn’t picked up. That’s all I’m saying. I’m not accusing you of anything, but I have seen the way you look at her. Oh, I’m just inventing things, am I!? The Great Inventor! Inventing things, right?! Like when you told her you liked her frock? Did I invent that? Or when you walked curbside with her all the way to Strawbridges!? Maybe I should get a patent on that vision! Ah! Now I feel enraged! I feel like hanging up my phone before we finish speaking to one another. I mean it! I’m going to do it. I’m going to hang up my phone even though we’re not done!”

March 21, 1876

“Hey, Watson, it’s Aleck. How’s it going? I’m okay. So… Yeah, I guess I just wanted to say sorry for my phone call last week. I should never have called you drunk. That was stupid. And I guess I wasn’t really mad at you. I guess I was just… mad at the situation, you know? And I took it out on you, which was totally juvenile. Yeah, so anyway… How are you? That’s good, that’s good. Yeah, no otherwise, I’m pretty good, too. I thought I had an idea for a new invention, but I think someone already did it. It was like a spoon with ridges. Whatever. It’s kind of stupid anyway. No, I haven’t heard from Mabel. I don’t even really like her that much. She’s kind of self-involved, you know? Like, she turns every conversation into something about herself. I think I was just in love with the idea of her, you know? Anyway, I am actually a little lonely. I do sound depressed, don’t I? Watson, do you think you could come over here? I want to see you.”