Friday, September 12, 2008
"The past is never dead, it is not even past."
Recently I have taken to temporarily going back to bed in the mornings before Spouse goes to work. Spouse would venture an argument on my interpretation of 'recently' and 'temporarily' but nevertheless, there I was one morning, three-quarters into a slumber when I became aware of Spouse making a telephone call in the next room.
"May I speak to Bridget Jones please?"
I was not certain that I heard it correctly. Indeed, I ruminated on the possibility of the entire thing being a figment of a dream that, for reasons unclear to me, included the muffled mention of a movie character from some years ago- a movie, I might venture to add, that had almost passed under my radar.
I got the distinct impression that Spouse was embarrassed, was trying to make amends and, judging by the intonation of his voice, I gathered that something untoward had transpired in the course of the call.
It was at that point, though, that I fell into the last quarter of my nap and I knew no more.
Days passed before the subject arose, and I came to understand what had happened.
Spouse had been attempting to return the call of a recruiter named Bridget Burns, and had accidentally, terribly, requested Bridget Jones instead.
It was never apparent whether the person on the other end of the line heard the dreadful error, but after Spouse fumbled graciously with the right name, and following a moment's aching silence, the receptionist agreed to put Spouse through to the Bridget she was most familiar with.
The movie which bears that name had passed, for the most part, under Spouse's radar too and the slip therefore was a baffling one to both of us.
I can only surmise that we absorb and store a good deal more information than we have frequent access to. Sometimes, the oddest detail can spring from seemingly nowhere at all and startle us with its banal mediocrity. We muse: why did I remember that? Why now, of all moments? What possible use could that fragment have had, stored in the mind for years upon years, emerging not when specifically called upon but when it saw fit to intrude on unrelated business?
As for poor Spouse, who was only trying his best to get through to Bridget Burns, that intrusion occurred at quite the wrong time- or the right time, if a good round of mirth is called for, and if one is not the unfortunate speaker but a member of the proverbial audience.
Posted by Phyllis Hunt McGowan at 11:16 AM