Beautiful Person

I answered a call from an unknown number
Because when the ID says “Unknown”
It’s usually Grandma offering to take me to dinner
“Do you have some time to take a survey?”
It wasn’t Grandma.

“How much time?” I asked.
“It’s about ten minutes
but it can get toward twenty-five.
Depends on the person’s answers,
So I don’t want to say specifically.

You’d really be helping us out
because we only need one more survey
and we can all go home.”
That could have been a line
but if it was a line

It’s because he knows something about humans
When a chore becomes a favor
it’s no longer a chore
In one sentence I transformed
from Random Participant to Good Samaritan

“Sure,” I said, “I can do that.”
Twenty minutes later
I’d answered all the questions
He said, “Thank you so much.
You’re actually a beautiful person.”

And left me to figure out
How a moment
Goes from almost not answering the phone
To validating our existence
Worth missing Scattergories at Game Night

Maybe he found it sweet
That I would Strongly Consider
Giving up a kidney or part of my liver
For a family member
And Somewhat Consider the same for a stranger

I don’t know how often
The agency that checks for errors
in credit score calculations is accurate
But I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt
And say Every Time

Maybe he agreed with my views
That Cosmopolitan Magazine isn’t appropriate for all ages
But I Strongly Disagree with actions to censor it
Or he liked my jokes
“How many cups of coffee do you drink per week?”

“Since I left Seattle, averaging zero!”
And, “Tell it to me straight, man.
Are you just using me to draft your short story?”
“No no,” he laughed, “I don’t even write the questions.”
“Alright,” I said, “I’m gonna write it then.”

The draft is coming along
It has two characters, yearning
Dialogue, direct and indirect
Tension that zooms in and out
I think I might add in somewhere

A phone survey operator
With a sense of humor
Who knows lots of things about humans
I answered a call from an unknown number

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