You dropped a paper with your number, now the phone is ringing

The voice on the phone said breathlessly, “one hundred mornings of waking up to a particular brand of bad breath, to fifty negotiated Sunday plans and twenty five fights which end with..’no matter what you say I am still here… I found your note and I’m calling you back.”

A man’s voice, rich and tender reading my own words back to me. It was on my voice mail.

What is this? How did he get my words? What is he doing with my name and number? Wait, what note? I know I did not give anyone a note. I stared at my phone. What do I do? I froze, then I paced, then I listened to the message again.

I didn’t know what to do so I did the obvious and called him back. I asked him about the note. He said he found it on the street near the bar where he was playing music. It had my name and number. “No. Something is wrong here.” I told him that couldn’t have happened. He laughed and said, “But it did. It did happen.”

Then I remembered. I had a thought, more like a wish. I wrote those lines on the back of a receipt. I was daydreaming about what I might say if I ever met “him.” On that night ten days earlier it was the smooth voiced musician in front of me. It could have been anyone.  I was wistful but not serious..was I? How did this guy get my receipt and words? I didn’t leave it anywhere. I took it home and used it as a starter for my blog, #love-and-#humor-in-that-exact-order.


I must have tucked it back in my jeans the next day and dropped it somewhere.  Who knows how many people had seen it? How did it get there? Oh God, I must have written my name and number on it at the bar where I first jotted it down–where I was thinking the singer was beautiful. Who was I? Don’t drink and write. I repeated the mantra in my head. One indiscretion is all it takes.  Thank God I didn’t actually give it to anyone–but now this guy has it. I feel like that one night is never ending. How?

“Come down to where we’re playing. We’re here for one night. Tomorrow we’re off to San Francisco. Come on down it’ll be fun.”

“Okay. I’m in my pajamas getting ready to read. But, weird, okay. I’ll walk over.”

I threw on some clothes, dabbed on a spot of lip color just in case and headed in the direction of the bar. I walked in and saw the musicians. A couple of young guys. They played well. It was some kind of blue grass folk with a cool blues infusion. They looked like nice people and they sang their hearts out. I wondered where their mom was. Funny how that thought goes through me when I see anyone under twenty six. One of them mouthed, “Julie?” I nodded my head. “Julie everyone. This is the one we told y’all about !” The bar broke out in applause. Okay. It actually gets worse, I thought. Who knows what they said about me? I knew I didn’t want to know. Still, I was amused. Life is messy, especially for me lately. I might want to get that checked I thought as I smiled and grabbed a bar stool.

The young men took a break and I immediately apologized for being their mom’s age. I’m sure they must be disappointed. The guy who  called said, “It’s alright. I was maybe expecting someone else. But hey you came–that’s cool.”

I was thinking more along the lines of I could have stayed in pajamas.

I won’t lie, when I got the mysterious message it sounded like the start of a Nicholas Sparks novel and it sucked me in. Instead of “The Notebook” it would just be “The Note.” How romantic, right? You know you were thinking that too. But life, at least my life, normally takes a pragmatic turn rather quickly. Soon the young man was telling me about his search for meaning, synchronicity and his spiritual path. He asked me questions and recently found himself oddly interested in Zen teachings. He wondered if I knew anything about that. I tapped on the chair next to me and said, “Okay. Sit down. Let’s talk.”

Buddha was famous for his sense of humor during his lifetime. Sometimes I think he is still having a great belly laugh.

I told the young man what I could in this bar over the sound of his buddy playing and the drunks in the back trying to sing along. I felt the need to remind him more than once not to be attached to outcome..this is what causes suffering.

He offered to give me the note back. I said, “No. You keep it. You never know what anything is about but now it belongs to you.”

Walking home a few minutes later under a bright half moon I  understood in a new way what I just said about not sticking to a certain outcome and not thinking you know what anything is really about.  “Good advice” I muttered under my breath as I felt the chill of Autumn and the seasons change around me.




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