Crossed Wires

by Paul McQuade

He won't tell me he loves me on the phone. Something about the way the wires tangle, the way they vibrate too audibly. Every night I say the words into the receiver and after a while the dial tone screams. I listen to it so long that I think I can hear him speaking in the static. I am always just about to understand what he is saying when I fall asleep. When I dream about his girlfriend lying next to him I feel like I am suffocating.


Paul McQuade is a Scottish-born writer living in Tokyo. His work is forthcoming on the National Gallery of Scotland Anthology and Fractured West. He has a tattoo of a teacup on his left arm and a penchant for Hendrick's gin.