commuterchroniclesdbh

Driving and Biking in the Big City

It’s never over at the end: A sequel

with 6 comments

The last time we left our contemplative blogger, she had considered the mystery of the “old-fashioned connection” resolved and at an end. That story was a year in the making and seemed to tie up with all loose ends connected. If you will recall, she finally spoke to the elderly gentleman caller and all were satisfied that the wrong number had been righted. Surprisingly, it took only a couple of days to learn that the end is not yet here.

This week when I returned to work, the red light on my message machine was blinking again. Again, I thought there was some early morning emergency for me to get after right away. My balloon never lands. This is why I’ve never made any money off my own dysfunctional childhood. I always think my ship is just about to come in with the next phone call.

My elderly caller, who had been leaving me messages for more than a year, had called again that morning and after we seemed to have straightened out his confusion. This time he broke his pattern of leaving a message in the deep night. Instead, he only missed me by minutes and just because I was away from my desk. Typically, he would have been likely to have caught me in person.

Again with the gravely voice but a bit more lively than some of the past messages.  It went like this:

“Hey, son (do you think it’s been “son” all along and not Don, John or Tom?)

“I’m just back from therapy and wanted to let you know how it went.” (Are we talking physical or mental therapy?)

“I really wanted to talk to you, Buddy. Can you give me a call back?”

Do I fool myself into thinking this elderly gentleman planned to reach me this time and continue the conversation from Friday when we spoke about Houston weather? Was he just happy to hear a friendly voice and knew he was making the same dialing error as he’d made perhaps 50 times before.

I call in the intrepid Thelma for advice again. She’s an objective naysayer , of course, being the more practical of the two of us. She thinks I’m romanticizing and fictionalizing this relationship – me thinking I’ve become an important voice on the other end of the line for my caller who you will remember we have determined lives perhaps at a war veteran’s home in Virginia. (Did I make that up? I never know what part of this story is what I think compared to what I know. I remember thinking in early days that he was a patient at nearby DeBakey VA, but later we found out he was in Virginia.)

Thelma is a good counterbalance to my whimsy. She is the reader of non-fiction, organizational guides and project management how-tos. Her theory in life is: Touch it once. She knows that my theory in life is “beat it to death, and if it comes back to life, go at it again.”  She sees the line in the sand; I’m all gray area and beaches.

“Get a life,” Thelma suggests. “We’ve got real work to do.”

She’s right, of course. I don’t write this blog for a living.

And still I have no callback number from my caller, but I do know the misdialed number from my conversation with the old gentleman on Friday. After all, it’s just one digit off from my work number. Thelma, always the thinker, suggests that instead of calling me on purpose (as I believe) that perhaps the son or someone from his real life has mis-saved the correct number in his speed dial and that’s why he’s calling my number by mistake so often.

Bubble buster that she is, she agrees I should call the correct number and let his son know that he’s looking for a call back.

And so, the saga continues. Some strange younger voice in Virginia receives an even stranger call from me, probably sounding as desperate and weird as his father ever sounded in messages to me.

“Hi, you don’t know me, but your father wants you to call him back,” I tell the son’s message machine. After all, this is a mystery played out by message machines and missed connections.

“You see, your father has been calling my number at work by mistake for about the last year. I’m thinking maybe you should check his speed dial and see if the number saved there is correct.

“Of course, I don’t mind hearing from him,” I end, and I leave my number. “Hmm,” he must think. “What a weirdo.”

That day, I didn’t hear back from son or father. But tomorrow is another day. Will I be surprised by the flashing red light again? After my long commute, I’m never quite prepared  when I open my office door.

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Written by commuterchroniclesdbh

September 12, 2012 at 6:19 pm

6 Responses

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  1. Seriously, do not leave us hanging. If sonny doesn’t return your call …..fly out there! Put your priorities in order. This could be it, the book deal, the super highway to fame and fortune….

    Barb

    September 12, 2012 at 7:10 pm

    • Hey, Barbielab. I’m so glad to see you reading. This guy is killing me. I thought his son might call me back. I know I would certainly have been curious to hear that message I left.

      commuterchroniclesdbh

      September 12, 2012 at 8:12 pm

  2. “My balloon never lands. This is why I’ve never made any money off my own dysfunctional childhood. I always think my ship is just about to come in with the next phone call.”

    Denise. I love that “my balloon never lands.” Is that an original? That is the second thing you have said lately that I have kept to ponder. The other is “we are all the center of our own universe.”

    You may not have made any money off of your dysfunctional childhood, but you are healthy and whole and spreading you to others.

    I love your imagination and spirit of adventure. You joke about me pouting at your wedding because you were taking my brother. The 53 1/2 year old Mary Johnson has known you for over 40 years delights in you and considers you a kindred spirit and soul mate.

    mejnc

    September 13, 2012 at 2:44 am

    • I think your brother is the first to tell me that my balloon never lands. That’s right before he says the cheese has slid off my cracker.

      commuterchroniclesdbh

      September 13, 2012 at 6:47 am

      • I like that and my brother. I’m sharing your blog with Abby, another friend you will have to meet. And I meant to right you are spreading joy to others, but “you” will work too.

        mejnc

        September 13, 2012 at 9:30 pm

  3. Tomorrow IS another day and you are sure to hear from him again. I want to hear more. :o)

    Judy Sampieri

    September 13, 2012 at 8:58 am


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