In the morning I check my message machine by pressing its button, to make sure I didn't miss a call while I was asleep. Sometimes it records a dial tone, and other times what happened this morning happens.

This morning it said "You have no new messages." And I ask, "who has taken my messages?" So I press its button again and it reminds me "you have no new messages," as if I had forgotten. This makes me embarrassed, so I decide to press the button for a third time. Because a third time demonstrates my urgency, I was not playing games here.

I would have really liked to hear my messages immediately, but the morning had been cool and airy. It wasn't too bothersome to be waiting for the messages that long. So I pressed the button a third time and it told me, "you have no new messages," three times meant that it was really trying to prove to me that there weren't any messages. Each time it repeated, "you have no new messages," it sounded rehearsed, almost cold, like the morning had been. Nothing was warm and the message machine button was cold to the touch. That's when I knew I couldn't rely on a message machine to take my messages.

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