Did you know in your country, in the state of Ohio, there is a man whose name is “R.A. All Beef O’Myers?” The evidence is here on my KallService Ltd. Call Sheet. I know that in your country it is unusual for people to have names that are nouns. I have been doing my job for four months here at KallService.
I also know that the dinner hour in an American household is a sacred time. I know this because one of your countrymen told this to me recently: “this is a sacred time.” I had suspected this fact, because many times the Christian god had been invoked to damn me for having called at such an hour.
Many of you like to talk. I find this when I call sometimes, there are women who want to talk to me, who ask me my name, who say I have a “nice voice.” I had two weeks of KallService Ltd. training to disguise my accent. KallService Ltd. assigns the name “Kenny” to the occupant of this cubicle. I say my name is Kenny. When women ask my location, the KallService manual instructs me that I must decline to say anything. However if sometimes I am pressed and the woman has a nice voice too, I will lie and say “Nebraska” because I feel strongly the touch of the word in my mouth. My current residence is in truth here in Chandigarh, though it is not the town of my birth.
I am responsible for the area in the middle of your country, the rectangular states.
Two days ago I called a household and asked for the head of household and the man who answered told me to wait a moment. Through the receiver I could hear people laughing, there seemed to be many people laughing. A man named Raymond was speaking and people were laughing even though the things he was saying did not seem humorous. Then all of the people in the room sang a song about beer, then a woman discussed the fact that some men might want to see their doctor in order to begin really living again. My call-clock reached zero, so I had to terminate the phone call. I am humbled to admit that it was only shortly before terminating the call that I realized I had been listening to the television.
During many calls, children in the background cry and screech, just as in my country.
Another thing I know is that many people in your country are bold, like explorers or inventors. Sometimes the boldness may seem to new employees of KallService Ltd. to be rude. I explain that you know and I know that if you were to spend but a brief few minutes with me discussing your long-distance calling plan, by the end of the call I would have found a way to save you money. And yet many Americans do not even have the time to talk to me? That is another example of your boldness, your confidence, your abundance.
The KallService Ltd. manual does not tell trainees about the women of your country. My colleagues and I know that many people in your country live alone. Many of these people living alone are women. I know when I have reached the house of an alone person because there is a certain weight to the silence behind them, or the volume of the stereo music or television will be falsely loud. The women in these empty domiciles often want to talk beyond the limits of my call-clock. They seem very interested in a man like me. I have been here at KallService Ltd. for four months, and next month I will join my cousin in his solid-soup business. But now I have more days sitting in my cubicle calling the women of your country. I listen and try to hear in their voice the sights they are seeing outside their windows. Outside their windows are fields of wheat, white-crowned mountains, the Grand Canyon, or the Statute of Liberty. Some day I will travel to your rectangular states. From the window you will see me, coming to the front door. You will offer me a lemonade, and I will tell you I have come from Nebraska.
Written in San Francisco, CA, December 13, 1:13 to 1:33 p.m.