My Oklahomie

by G.T.

Apparently receiving random text poetry from an unknown phone number is like waking up to two guys mutually masturbating each other. It leaves you speechless and feeling rather awkward. I speak from experience (I was the one who woke up, so don’t get any weird impressions of me). If I received a poem from some random phone number, I would feel inclined to respond, at the very least. And really, a poem is much better than a voicemail recording of a man beating some surface with what sounded like a wooden board or baseball bat, with heavy metal playing in the background. I am also speaking from experience.

Brendan W. (815) – Here is a former coworker that I spent many dull afternoon shifts working with at my high school job, a Jewel-Osco. He always talked about his car, and would show people cell phone videos of his speedometer reaching 90 to 100 miles per hour. Nobody ever believed it was really his speedometer, though. I never really cared. All I thought was, “Is it safe to be videotaping something while speeding?” That must explain why car insurance rates are so high for young male drivers. Thanks, Brendan, you’ve ruined it for Grandma-drivers like myself. At 8:38am.

“Timeclock blues
routine fatigue
creep up expected
but unwanted. One
day may you punch
out and step on
the gas and run
away from what
“normal” is for you.”

Brendan didn’t respond. Like this hasn’t happened already.

11:52am, Me: “Is this Brendan W.’s number?”

Still, no response. He must’ve been sitting in traffic court for a speeding violation.

Brian C. (708) – I’ve known Brian for several years. Way back in high school is when we first met. Honors English: American Literature. Nobody knew me. Nobody liked me. Eventually, I befriended Brian and another guy in that class, Roger. And later, Jason. Three people out of the thousand or so that I had met in high school. I never said that I was a socialite.
Brian is a quirky kid, and his humor is often unintentional, making it so much funnier. He’s an engineering major at U. of I., and from what I know of him, he’s well versed in the sciences, and that is one of his predominant characteristics. Plus, it beat writing a poem about video gaming or his terrible high school job, working at McDonald’s. Don’t fret, Brian, everybody has a shitty job at some point in their lives. Why I happen to have had many in the past couple of years. Stick with the physics labs, kid.

While writing Brian’s poem, I was stumped trying to find an appealing scientific term to describe a certain hallucinogenic image that I had in my head: it was kind of like staring at a building, and witnessing it break down into an axis of numbers and variables floating, illuminated in front of a black background. Basically the image was the fundamentals of what composed physical structure. Looking into a world that is entirely equations and integers and one big X/Y/Z axis. Trippy.
So I perused my personal library, and found the book I was looking for. Mathematical Physics, by some guy with a German surname. I bought the book during my Senior year of high school, because I was taking AP Physics, and I thought that walking around with this book would make me appear serious. Well it didn’t get me laid. That’s for sure. And my quarter grades were a consistent joke. So no, the book was a bad investment until today. I should’ve given the book to our teacher, Mr. Champlin. He was always a step ahead of us students, and by that, I mean that he had to read the lesson the night before he taught it to us. The silent but scientifically deadly Roger would correct the “Champ’s” mistakes, and enlighten the class. By the way, thank you, Roger. You were the best physics teacher that LTHS ever had. And probably ever will have.
I blew the dust of disinterest off of the book, and turned to a random page in Mathematical Physics. “We now turn our attention to vortical motion, blah blah blah…” Vortical. Perfect! Whatever it means. At 9:39am.

“Gazing through the
into and within,
the world changes
becoming a
vortical array
of numerical
splendor only
few can truly see.”

And concavity. I chose that word to describe Brian peering through eyeglasses. Eyeglasses are concave, in a way. I don’t happen to wear them, but Brian does. They say that smart people wear glasses. Of course, I’m an exception to that rule.

10:16am, Brian: “Very nice man. Hows life treating you?”

10:22am, Me: “I’ve been better than usual. Did I use “vortical” somewhat correctly? I found it a physics book that you would have more use for than I would.

10:32am, Brian: “Yeah i think it makes sense. Ive seen it used to describe fluids. Any news with the comedy show?”

10:35am, Me: “Filming for the first episodes might start later this year. I may pitch another sketch next week. How is the new semester going?”

10:38am, Brian: “I hope it all goes well with the show. Im just up to the same old same old”

10:44am, Me: “Much love. I appreciate it. The same old same old may feel redundant at times, but it always leads to something, homie.”

Ah, the “same old same old”. How many times have I been there, too? Our lives are an attempt to escape the “same old same old”, even if only for a brief moment.

“Oklahomie” (405) – This number belonged to a pledge brother, also named Brian, or “Kibbe”. However, through one of my many confidential connections, a.k.a. the social networking hellhole, Facebook, I noticed that he changed his phone number. So here’s some random Oklahoma phone number. What should I write to you, who I have nicknamed my “Oklahomie”.
I did a bit of research. Oklahoma is derived from the Choctaw words “okla” and “humma”, which translated into English, means “Red People”. Ironic, because Oklahoma is a primarily conservative state. There’s a lot of mesas and a lot of buffalo. That sounds like enough information for a cute, little poem. At 12:02pm.

“There were bison
sipping at Little
River under the
afternoon shadows
of sundry mesas. This
will never change,
resonant like the
echoes of Choctaw
pow wows past.”

A couple of hours later, I took my usual three hour nap in the afternoon, and woke up to no response. Rather than freak this person out with another poem, because that hasn’t been brightening peoples’ days as I’ve come to find out.

5:12pm, Me: “This # is in my phone. It belonged to an ol’ friend. Brian? Is this still your number?”

5:28pm, “Oklahomie”: “Yes, who is this?”

Oh shit. I wasn’t expecting this. Could this be Kibbe? Or is this somebody posing as Brian, and trying to find out who I am so he can send his confidential connections to attack me? Good thing I have a set of bow and arrows under my bed.

5:42pm, Me: “Wow, you’ve been living in Chicago so long that I assumed you had changed your #. It’s your bro, Geo. How did you like the poem about your home state?”

I don’t want to reveal myself so soon, but I wasn’t expecting this person to be Brian. Since he’s a pledge brother, maybe he will get the hint by my usage of the word, ‘bro’.

5:43pm, Kibbe: “Im sorry, but i don’t know a Geo.”

Most people know me as George or G.T. I’ve never used Geo. I’m hardly cool enough to go by my initials, but definitely not cool enough to go by Geo.

5:49pm, Me: “From DTD? Perhaps he did change his #, and you’re a different Brian. My mistake. Well, I hope you enjoyed the poem, Brian.”

Nah, he must not be the Brian that I didn’t think he was, but almost thought he was for a second, and turned out not to be. Did that make sense?

5:50pm, Kibbe: “Well i am in dtd, but i am a 4th year mech e, this is bizarre.”

You are the Brian that I know! Fourth year, mechanical engineering major. Kibbe!

5:56pm, Me: “Then you must be the Brian I know! Do you recall a certain pledge brother you once went driving with in search of dry ice for our space age Pledge Ball?”

Every year, pledges of Delta Tau Delta have to organize a themed party, called Pledge Ball. Our pledge class did a space theme, and Brian and I went driving in search of a place in Chicago that sold dry ice. Two hours and twenty dollars for a brick of dry ice later, we had the perfect ingredient for an ominous fog to blur the entrance of our house. We ended up tossing it out, never using it.

5:57pm, Kibbe: “Yeah that was me! I got completely smashed that night, so what’s your full name”

Oh, come on, Brian.

6:01pm, Me: “Damn it, Kibbe, it’s George. And yes, you and I really hit the gin that night. I think you vomited Chinese take out on my pants that night.”

To be fair, that was probably my vomit.

6:03pm, Kibbe: “Oh god Damn! You typed geo instead of george! How are you dude?”

6:04pm, Me: “I’m well. How are you doing? It’s been a very long time.”

6:05pm, Kibbe: “He’ll yeah it has, im sick, but doing well otherwise, its good to hear from you”

6:13pm, Me: “I hope you feel better, and I’m glad to hear back from you.”

And after speaking to Kibbe, I remembered why I was doing this project in the first place.

It occured to me after looking at what I assumed was Kibbe’s new number that it is most likely the fraternity’s house phone. So I can’t send a text message to a land line, because if it was a cell phone, I would’ve done it. I have to work tonight, so tomorrow, I have three more people to either please or infuriate. I can’t wait to write a few more.