Daily Dialogue: Sati’s Last Call

Two women, forty minutes a day, bounce around my mind and tell me what to do.

Sati
Is this the Suicide Lifeline?

Cathy
800-273-8255? Yes, it is. How are you feeling?

Sati
Like I can’t go on.

Cathy
What’s your name? I’m Cathy.

Sati
Sati.

Cathy
That’s a pretty name. Is it Middle Eastern?

Sati
Yes.

Cathy
Are you from there? I can hear a little of that area in your voice.

Sati
No, I’m American.

Cathy
Oh.

Sati
My parents are from the Middle East, so that’s what you hear, I guess.

Cathy
How are your parents?

Sati
Dead.

Cathy
I’m sorry.

Sati
Don’t be. You had nothing to do with it.

Cathy
May I ask more about them?

Sati
How they died?

Cathy
If you feel like telling me.

Sati
They were Muslims and made the mistake of going to mosque the same day a fanatic with a bomb did.

Cathy
I’m sorry.

Sati
I told you not to say that. You had nothing to do with it.

Cathy
You’re right. Why did you call?

Sati
I have a knife next to me, lines drawn on my neck, my wrists, and I need a reason to not go over my work.

Cathy
Thanks for calling before you made your decision.

Sati
Figured that I should offer the world that hurt me one chance to save me.

Cathy
Why do you feel that the world hurt you?

Sati
Live my life for a day and ask me again.

Cathy
What’s a typical day for you?

Sati
Being called a sand nigger and told to get out of the country.

Cathy
Who’s said these things to you?

Sati
People who don’t know me, which is the world. Essentially.

Cathy
I know you and I’d never say those things to you. Your friends don’t, right?

Sati
I don’t have any.

Cathy
Why do you feel that way?

Sati
Because no one’s bothered to talk to me in over a month.

Cathy
Maybe they’re busy, Sati.

Sati
Or maybe they think I’m a terrorist.

Cathy
Why would they think that?

Sati
Because I look like those crazy fuckers, and you find out who your friends are when you look like their enemy. As far as they’re concerned, I work for ISIS.

Cathy
How long have you known them?

Sati
A few months.

Cathy
Have you had any friends for longer than that?

Sati
My friendships last between terrorist attacks.

Cathy
I’d like to be your friend. Can I?

Sati
Not yet.

Cathy
I’ll wait, then. What about family?

Sati
My parents were the only ones who made it to America. The rest stayed over there and would rather not talk to me.

Cathy
Why?

Sati
Because they feel like I’ve been corrupted, since I have an opinion and I’m gay.

Cathy
I don’t feel like you’re corrupted. I feel that you’re able to express all aspects of yourself freely. What about girlfriends?

Sati
What about them?

Cathy
Have there been any lucky ladies in your life?

Sati
My last girlfriend took my parents on their last visit to mosque.

Cathy
I’m– Were you two serious?

Sati
We lived together for a few years, so I’d say so.

Cathy
Is this your first phone call to us?

Sati
Do you mean was I suicidal then? No. Back then, I was too strong to contemplate such a thing. I just locked myself in our house for two months and cleared out our liquor cabinet.

Cathy
Have you been drinking today?

Sati
No. I’m clear.

Cathy
Do you have a job?

Sati
Had a job.

Cathy
What did you do?

Sati
I helped run an art gallery whose patrons, unbeknownst to me, have an aversion to all things Middle Eastern when terrorism appears on their Fox News feed. I didn’t work there before the last attack, so I was clueless. Silly me.

Cathy
Have you thought about getting lawful retaliation?

Sati
One of the most important, peaceful symbols of Middle Eastern culture has been perverted for almost a century by a German madman. No matter how hard my people try, it will always be a symbol of the most sincere hatred. How can I look for justice under such a circumstance?

Cathy
Has talking to me made you feel anything, one way or another?

Sati
Yes.

Cathy
I’ll be here for you as long as you need me. Can I ask you to do something for me?

Sati
Maybe.

Cathy
Can you rub a little of the marker off of one of your arms?

Sati
Which one?

Cathy
Your right one.

Sati
How much?

Cathy
Not the entire line. How long did you make it?

Sati
I dunno. A few inches.

Cathy
It would make me very happy if you wiped away half an inch.

Sati
I don’t have a towel.

Cathy
If you licked your finger and used that, I wouldn’t tell anyone.

Sati
You’re a gross friend, Cathy.

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