There is a phone booth situated on a semi-desolate playa, in the middle of nowhere, really, because the lights visible against the mountains on the horizon are far away in another state of mind. There is no phone inside the booth and the location obliterates cell phone coverage. Still, it stands as a beacon for late-night communicators. Knowledge of the phone booth's existence is passed from one communicator to another not by word-of-mouth, but from state of mind to mind. Only the most sensitive among us will ever be privy to its playa power but for those who are nothing in life will ever be as welcome or astonishing as what happens there.
The Operator always knows who arrives at the booth and who the caller is longing to talk with once again. Neon collages, depicting the caller's memories of the loved one who has passed, appear on the glass walls as the connection is made and their lifetimes together are displayed in changing holograms for the two late-night communicators. For some, it is a dizzying circus of the senses. Others have found complete redemption there. The loneliest have been known to return night after night until madness sets in. The most grateful visitors find fulfillment. A few have passed beyond peace and disappeared onto the dark playa, needing nothing more from this life.
This is how to get there:
Written for The Mag (top image by Eric Mahoney) with a heart full of sorrow, as the health of our dear Old English Sheepdog, Abby, failed so suddenly this week and she left us on Feb. 23. What I wouldn't give to be able to communicate with her, to squeeze her one more time....