Sometime in October I started to get calls from an elderly woman named Eleanor. She was looking for her friend, Susan. Our conversations went something like this:
Eleanor: Hello, Susan?
Me: No, I think you have the wrong number.
Eleanor: Ohh… who is this?
Eleanor: You’re not Susan. *hangs up*
3 minutes later:
Eleanor: Susan? I’m here in Boston.
Me: No, you still have the wrong number.
Eleanor: Who is this?
Eleanor: Where’s Susan?
This continued on and off for several hours. I eventually offered to help Eleanor find Susan by looking her up in the phone book. When I realized that I didn’t have a phone book, I decided to instead focus my efforts on making Eleanor understand that I am not Susan.
“Eleanor. Eleanor. I am not Susan.”
“Could you put Susan on the phone, please?”
“Eleanor. I do not know who Susan is.”
Oh Eleanor. I hope to be like you one day.
But as in all relationships, Eleanor and I drifted apart. She called less and less and eventually, not at all. Did she find Susan? Or someone new to call Susan? Did she ever leave the Boston bus terminal? Was she the elderly woman who hit my bike with her cane because “motor vehicles shouldn’t be on the sidewalk?”
I guess we’ll never know. But every time the phone rings, I think of ol’ Elly.