by Chris Hlad…
There’s a station in Los Angeles that thinks it’s doing humanity a favor. While their intentions are good, the one little thing that they don’t realize is that the only thing worse than a broken heart is a heart that is broken twice. There is no remedy for this, no simple cure that is going to make the victim all better again. No, this heart will pump only black blood until it has (gratefully) contracted and expanded one last time.
I’ve never been one to throw somebody under the bus (unless they were in my way), and I don’t feel the need to now, which is why I won’t give you the specific call letters of this station. If you live in Los Angeles, you’ll probably be able to figure it out anyways, but for the sake of anonymity, I’ll call it GOST103.SOMETHING. For those of you lacking any creativity, it’s pronounced GHOST. I have no idea why radio stations are only allowed four call letters nor do I care; I’m just trying to play by the rules.
This said radio station runs a dedication show from 8-11p.m. Pacific, and I’m sure this isn’t the only station doing it. When I was a kid I remember listening to that missing corpse Kasey Kasem making long distance dedications during his weekly Top 40 Countdown. Growing up, I thought his relaying messages of love to someone in a far off land was absolutely magical.
Now I think it was all probably a bunch of B.S.
I’m older and I’m jaded, but I’m pretty sure that when Kelly from Arkansas was professing her love over the airwaves to her fiance who was ‘off on business’ in Hawaii, he was probably off learning how to Hula Dance in some hotel room, if you catch my drift. No Kasey, distance doesn’t make the heart grow fonder; it makes the body crave certain biological needs, which, long distance dedication or not, will be fulfilled. Why? Because we’re humans and we suck.
End of story.
This GOSTFM (remember, it’s pronounced GHOST damnit), however, took the long distance dedication and brought it home. And not just for one segment a week, but THREE HOURS A NIGHT FIVE TIMES A WEEK. I suppose if you’re in a relationship, you’d appreciate the show. Why? Because you’re in the same boat with the people who feel a need to profess their love on a large scale. I assure you, this boat will sink.
I had a friend who used to be all into that show. He’d call up and dedicate that sappy Madonna song ‘Crazy for You’, after rambling on to the (female) DJ about how grand new love was and how he wanted to be with Melissa forever (he’d just had his heart crushed by someone else, so I thought this was progress). The DJ ate it up (or was she faking it), and ahhd, coohed and sighed in all the right parts of their conversation. Hell, I could do that.
No I couldn’t. I have morals and I saw what it did to my friend and I can’t believe that he was the only person it happened to.
See, my friend was on Cloud Nine – which, it turns out, was a major thunder storm cloud – and he kept listening, obsessively, to hear if Melisa would return the deed, pay it forward or whatever cute phrase you want to throw in there. Well, she did, but it wasn’t exactly what Steve (that’s my friend’s name) expected.
See, she called in to GOSTFM and dedicated a song to Steve. Except this song wasn’t about enduring romance to come. Oh no, quite the contrary. She dedicated ‘You’ve Got a Friend’ to her best friend Steve (the Carole King version, not the James Taylor version).
She told the DJ all about their relationship: “I tried to see him as a lover, but I couldn’t. There’s something so special about what we have, I just don’t want to ruin it. I hope he feels the same way.”
Steve was over at my house when said dedication came on, and, naturally, he wasn’t happy. “‘Can’t see me as a lover’? What the hell is that supposed to mean? Then why did you stick your tongue half way down my throat last weekend? Is that something ‘friends’ do, because I’ve never heard of THAT! So I guess the surprise suite at the Queen Mary that I got for us next weekend is a bad idea too? I’d hate to RUIN it! Maybe there’s a couch or a pull out bed I can sleep on?”
Steve was really on a rant. I tried to calm him down, but to no avail. And if I was in his shoes? Well, hopefully I never am. He grabbed his keys off my dresser and said he had some business to take care of.
“Look, man, why don’t you just stay here and cool out a bit.”
“Cool out? Did you hear what she said?”
“Look bro, I’m sure nobody was listening.”
“Right. The most popular radio show and nobody was listening? Give me a break.”
“Okay, but please tell me you’re not going to Melisa’s house.”
“That would be a lie. But I have no intention of seeing or talking to that bitch.”
And with that, he was off.
In retrospect, I should have called the cops, but I didn’t. I decided to wait until Steve chilled out and waited for his call. That never happened, so I called Melisa. “Melisa, it’s me. Was Steve over there tonight?”
“No. Just me.”
“Are you sure?”
“Yeah. I’ve been listening to the radio and having a bottle of wine.”
“Well, do you mind if I come by and take a look?”
“No, not at all.” Pause. “What’s this all about?”
“I’ll let you know when I know.”
Immediately, I left and went to Melisa’s place. Honestly, I don’t know how she couldn’t have heard him. He was laying right under her window, one wrist slashed, with which he painted the side of her house with the phrase “F Love”. I didn’t need to check for a pulse. What was on the lawn told me he was dead.
I don’t know how he found the strength to do it, but he disemboweled himself, taking what I guess was his large intestine and shaping it into a heart. I didn’t want Melisa to see this, so I called the cops, let her know they were coming, and that they’d taken care of everything. Just stay inside.
Then, I called that bitch at GOST103.SOMETHING. I told her I’d like to make a dedication to my friends Steve and Melisa.
“Is this a new love?” the DJ cooed.
“It was for one of them.”
“Didn’t quite work out?”
“You could say that.”
“Well sometimes when one door is closed, another opens. I hope whichever person it didn’t work out for keeps an open mind.”
“Won’t do him any good.”
“And why is that?”
“Because he ripped his guts out and slashed his wrist, thanks to YOUR SHOW.”
I hung up on her before she could hang up on me.
When I got to my car, ironically (or not), The Power of Love by Huey Lewis and the News was playing. Yeah, that’s some crazy sick, powerful power, I thought to myself.
Chris Hlad is a native Southern Californian who enjoys surfing, sailing, and dumbing-down his brain every chance he gets. See more fiction by Chris at cpaulhlad.ghost.io.