Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Telephonic dissonance. There were two occasions this week on which telephones made me feel very embarrassed and uneasy, neither of which you'd think would inspire such negative feelings.

The first event was that I was over at my parents' house downloading songs from the '90s for a club night I am DJing this coming Saturday at the Laundry. (My computer craps itself when I so much as try to check my blog stats, and I can hardly download stuff illegally on Rupert's watch.) I was awaiting my brother's arrival because it was only from his computer that CDs could be burned, and it was getting on for 10pm and he still wasn't home.

I thought I would call him but I couldn't be bothered getting my mobile phone to look up his number. (In this day and age I probably know only about two phone numbers off by heart, and they are the ones I memorised before mobile phones became the dominant way to contact people.) But I knew it began with 0412, so I scrolled through recently dialled numbers on my parents' phone, reasoning that they would have called my brother recently.

Aha! there it was, an 0412 number. But when I called it, my brother did not answer. It was some other dude.
Stalling for time, I said, "Hello, it's Mel."
"Hello Mel, how are you?" said the unfamiliar voice.
"Not too shabby," I replied automatically, scrolling through a mental playlist of familiar voices. I thought, oh noes, I've called my other brother by mistake!
"Is that Tim?" I asked tentatively.
"No," said the voice.
"Oh, sorry, wrong number," I said, and hung up.

I felt really awful for quite a while after that, wondering who I'd called by mistake. I don't know why I was so upset at the prospect of a mere wrong number.

The second incident was that the other day I was on the tram to work and I saw my former officemate Evet on the corner of Little Bourke and Swanston Street, wearing a pink windcheater. I thought I would text him, "Hey, nice pink jumper!"
But his response was, "Who is this? I have no pink jumper!"
"It is mel, and dammit you were wearing one earlier!" I replied.
"Or maybe you have pink tinted glasses! My sweater is white!"

I was adamant that it was pink - and indeed, I was sure I had seen Evet in the office wearing the same damn top! I don't know why it was so important to me. So I thought I'd text his girlfriend, a woman fond of the colour pink and sure to notice her man modelling it:
"Hey lucymo, does Evet own a pink windcheater?"
"No siree, not that i would discourage such a thing... He's already wearing cardigans, i suppose pink windcheaters are imminent."

After this I wasted a lot of time pondering whether I was going crazy. I was walking back to the office after lunch yesterday and I passed a toddler strapped into a stroller. She had a harassed look on her face that corresponded perfectly to the way I was feeling at the time.

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