The Memoir Writing Course prompt was “The biggest risk you ever took.” Sam was inspired to share a very special memory.
THE RIGHT NUMBER
by Sam Ansell
At the time, I was living in a third-floor walk-up in Manhattan and earning a precarious living writing promotional material for a company that made tollbooths–no, not “Phantom Tollbooths.” Real ones. Hardly a chance to be creative. I had no relationship whatsoever with with my fellow employees, nor, for that matter, with anyone else in New York. So, every evening, I remained in my cramped little flat, either reading or listening to the radio, this being the pre-TV era. Yes, I was very lonely, and my awful cooking only made things worse.
Then, early one evening, the phone rang. An unknown young woman said, “Hi! It’s me! I’m visiting relatives in New York, so how about taking me out for dinner and a show?”
I was about to tell her that she had called the wrong number but thought better of it. Why not take her out? She might even be pretty–with any luck, a real cute number. So, an hour later, I was pushing the doorbell of a Manhattan apartment.
The door opened, and there was one of the loveliest numbers I had ever encountered. And one of the most indignant as well.
“Who are YOU?” she demanded.
“You called ME up,” I said.
Well, after about twenty minutes, we got it all straightened out. And we did go out that evening. And the next. And the one after that. And we’ve been inseparable ever since.
So, I’ve never been lonely again. Or had to eat my own–ugh–cooking. And she’s still a lovely number.
All of which goes to show you that, if you’re very lucky, a wrong number can get you the right number.
Share your memoirs with the BOLLI community–just send pieces (of approximately 500 words in length) to BOLLI Matters co-editor Sue Wurster at firstname.lastname@example.org