Dear Campus Cruiser On-Hold Music,

Hey. We’ve known each other in passing for quite awhile. The
truth is, though, that I don’t have the guts to call up Campus Cruiser, have them
put me through to you, and say what’s on my mind. It turns out I have a much
easier time expressing myself on very public internet posts instead. What can I
say, I’m a shy gal.

I just wanted to bring attention to a little stunt you
pulled recently. Maybe you think no one noticed, but you’re wrong. Someone
definitely noticed, and that someone rhymes with me.

It’s me. I noticed.

I’ll admit, when I met you over the phone for the first time freshman year,
I thought you were one of the goofiest things I’d ever heard. In fact, after
that fateful first encounter I was usually disappointed and annoyed if cruiser put
you on to make the time pass. My friends and I shamelessly made fun of and
complained about your flagrant weirdness all the time. You were just a joke to me. A sad, gargled
up joke that rarely even ended in laughter.

This year started off the same as any other. If I called
cruiser, you were there in my ear, just like you always had been night after
night.

Then it happened.
It was a typical Friday night, just like any other, and I was out late at a
party. It was raining.

Actually, I just scanned through the old weather reports and
they’re telling me it wasn’t raining at all. Regardless, it was a downpour in
my soul that night, and I’ll forever remember it as such.

I was standing out on the porch to get away from all the
noise, knowing I needed to call a ride. Of course, I called Cruiser, but deep
down, I knew I was secretly a little excited to hear you, too. They gave me the
usual run around: it was a busy night, and they were going to put me on hold.
No problem. I just listened in for the familiar sound of you.

It took me a few seconds to realize something was terribly
wrong. Where there should have been creepy, unintelligible ear-assault trying
to pass off as Beethoven’s 5th, there was nothing. Complete, lonely,
absolutely terrifying silence.

It’s hard for me to recount what happened next. The
horrifying realization that you were gone, quite possibly forever, hit me like
a runaway elephant that also enjoys fist fighting as a hobby. 

I couldn’t tell which way was up, couldn’t remember what I’d eaten for breakfast. It was awful. I was trapped in an existential crisis: was I on hold? Or just another girl with a phone to her ear, waiting for no one, played by the system. There’s no way of knowing without your music!!!

All the time I’d
spent not really listening to you over the years came crashing back to me in one
sickening ball of regret. You were always so loyal and dependable. If you said
you’d be there with me, even if my call exceeded five minutes due to heavy
traffic request, you ALWAYS kept that promise. Even when cruiser let me down,
you never did.

I understood then that all those times we had together
weren’t just about being on hold. They were about having something – nay,
someone- to hold onto.

Suddenly the thought that I would never again strain to
understand your hauntingly garbled versions of classical music filled me with a
despair I hadn’t felt since I learned In-N-Out was outbid by Carl’s Junior for vendor space at the Campus Center.

After what seemed like an eternity of silence, cruiser
picked up and sent me a car. I don’t remember anything from that ride home,
unless you count “empty, soulless heart jelly” as a coherent expression.

I hoped it was just a nightmare, that the next time I called,
you would be there again, but alas, the next day you were still missing. And
the next day. And the next. For a whole week I was put on hold only to be met
with the cold, gaping silence of doubt you left behind.

Then, just when I was ready to give my heart away to science
since it was completely frozen and of little use to me, I called cruiser one
last time, and who should I hear but your familiar old music, as if you’d never
left. At first I thought I’d gone delusional, that I was now hallucinating your
presence just to cope (kind of like in Twilight when after Edward left her,
Bella started hallucinating that people DIDN’T want her to maim
herself in an accident. Sad right?) My friends confirmed that yes, you were there, and I immediately
told science that they couldn’t have my heart; it belonged to you.

I guess what I want you to take away from this declaration
of love is that I’m sorry it took your temporary disappearance for me to
realize how much I need you, but I’ll never forget the mistake of not
appreciating you as long as I live. So please, do me a favor and don’t ever
leave me again, because honestly I don’t know what I would do. Probably turn
and talk to some of my friends to kill time, and nobody wants that.

So”¦ would you like a call or text?

Love,

Lia

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