Tuesday, July 21st, 2020. 7:00 AM.
Eileen, may I confide something to you, please?
In the 1970s, after “the summer of ‘74” was over . . .
[I don’t recall exactly when the following began to happen – however, it did happen.]
It happened, maybe, three times.
I would go to bed on a Sunday night and fall asleep.
[I had to rise early on Monday morning [about 5:00 AM] to be at my job in Northbridge, Massachusetts at 7:00 AM.]
Massachusetts by Bee Gees (lyrics 06-07-14)
Well, about 11:30, my phone would ring and wake me up.
I’d get out of bed and answer it.
It was a woman.
Someone I did not know.
Or, maybe, I did know her; however, she didn’t reveal her true identity – and I didn’t recognize her voice.
I can still remember two names she mentioned: Linda Barnaby and Karen Alexander.
She may not have been saying that was her name – only dropping their names – people she knew. I can’t remember, exactly why she mentioned them.
[There was a waitress at Howard Johnson’s in 1969 — while I was working there — named Karen Alexander. Once, when the kitchen was empty except for me washing dishes, Karen came in and suddenly gave me a big hug. I wasn’t expecting that — it never happened before and there was nothing personal going on between us. In fact, I didn’t go out on a date with a girl for the first time until July 1970, the month after graduating from high school. So, I didn’t enjoy it. I stuck my fingers into her rib cage to make her stop. We had never even talked. Another time, Karen told me there was a lot of water on the floor in the basement lady’s room; so, I went all the way down the stairs with a mop and pail of water – and there was no water on the floor in the lady’s room.]
She may have only been mentioning these names – as people she knew. [I’m writing about my mysterious midnight phone-caller, now – not Karen, the waitress.
She also mentioned my brother’s first name.
She was being mysterious.
I would talk with her for a while – even though I didn’t know who she was.
Sometimes, I wondered if she was actually someone I knew – maybe an ex-girlfriend.
Well, I think it was about the third time this very late-night phone call happened,
I answered the phone and had a question for her.
I was irked that she always called so late at night – as if she wanted to bother me, wanted to wake me up when I really needed to be sleeping so I could work the next day.
So, as soon as I answered the phone, I said to her:
“You know, every time you call me you give yourself a different name. What are you going to call yourself this time?”
She hung up without a word. And she never called me again. I had some misgivings about that; even though she was bothering me, I was disappointed that she hung up and never called again.
And just now, after writing this, I thought of another possibility of who she might have been:
A woman I met at NRICMHC in the very early years of my going there – the early 1970s – even before “the summer of 1974.”
Her name was Charlotte. I dated her a few times – even though she was a few years older than me. She was an RN and worked at Rhode Island Hospital in Providence.
Something she did a few times would fit right in with the bothersome phone calls.
I was driving my car on Mendon Road and she would drive up very close to the back of my VW Beetle in her copper-toned Camaro with a black vinyl top – then she would slow down and back off – and then drive up close again.
So, it was helpful to me to write about this — because now I have another idea who that mysterious phone caller may have been. It was so very long ago that I’m really not bothered by the memory of those phone calls anymore. I just like to write – that’s all. And I believe in forgiveness. It is very important to be forgiving. Peace of mind requires it. Life is easier if we forgive each other. And Jesus taught the importance of it when He taught us how to pray: that we must forgive those who sin against us, or else our Heavenly Father will not forgive us, either. [Matthew 6:14, 15.]
And another thing I want to confide to you, Eileen, is this:
I felt disappointed that the caller hung up and never called me again.
If only she had called me during the day or earlier in the evening; and if only she had honestly told me who she was, it would have made a big difference in how I felt about her; and how I felt about her phone calls. And if Karen, the waitress, ever suddenly gave me a big hug again, I would try to just enjoy it – rather than put my fingers into her rib cage to stop her. Sometimes, we just don’t know enough to just enjoy a good thing when it happens – even if it’s mysterious.
Eileen: “Mark! You put your fingers into her rib cage!?”
Mark: “Well, it was the way she hugged me – so unexpectedly. And we weren’t in a relationship. And anyway, God made Eve out of Adam’s rib, didn’t He?”
Eileen: “What does Adam and Eve have to do with Karen the waitress hugging you suddenly in the kitchen?”
Mark: “I don’t know.”
Eileen: “Not like that, Mark.”
Mark: “Eileen, those were your exact words when I called you a few days after we had lunch at D’Angelo’s in Bellingham. You asked me on the phone, why I was calling. And I replied: “Eileen, your last words to me, as you were walking toward your car in the parking lot were, “Give me a call.” And then, on the phone, when I answered your question: “Why are you calling me?” You said, “Not like that.” –As if the way I quoted you was not the way you said it. Or else, you meant something else. I don’t know.
Eileen: [on the phone] “Not like that.”
Mark: “What do you mean, Not like that, Eileen”?
Eileen: “I meant: Call me; but don’t use my words as your excuse for calling me. I want you to have your own heart-felt reasons for calling me – not merely that you’re obeying my words.”
Mark: “Well, it just seems that, in love, we are no longer doing things for our own motives, but rather, for the other – otherwise it would be selfish of me to call you just for myself.”
Canon in D (Pachelbel’s Canon) – Cello & Piano [BEST WEDDING VERSION]
Eileen: “Yes, Mark; however, love must also be from your heart. You can’t love someone unless you really want to love them. And you need more of a reason for calling a girl than: “You told me to give you a call.” What do you want her to think of you? – That you’re ready to obey her every command?”
Mark: “That’s true, Eileen. Love is mysterious. It can’t be just for yourself – and it can’t be just for the other. Maybe that’s why beginning to make room for God in our lives is necessary – because He is Love and without Him, Life and Love and Truth are just not possible. For example: many recipes just won’t work unless water is added. Eileen, I remember you writing: “Dating just doesn’t work for me.” Maybe nothing works for us unless we let God — who is Love and Light and Spirit — into our heart and life. To try to live without God is to reduce life to such a minimalistic thing that it loses all goodness and enjoyment – like a recipe without the water, or without the milk of human kindness.”
God Moves in A Mysterious Way with Lyrics
Great Are You Lord – Casting Crowns – with Lyrics
Nat King Cole – When I Fall In Love (with lyrics)
John 4:1-54. NIV.
Christina Perri – A Thousand Years | Piano Cover by Pianistmiri 이미리
Flash Mob – Sing Somebody to Love at University Cafeteria (HD)
Mark: “So, what do you think of all this, Eileen?”
Eileen: “I think you’re nuts, Mark!”
Mark: “That’s exactly what I thought you’d think, Eileen.”
Eileen: “Well, at least you’re thinking of me, Mark; so, I forgive you for being as nutty as an acorn about me.”
Mark: “And thank you, Eileen, for being so beautiful in 7th and 8th grades at St. Charles School. And for walking up the aisle with me during Confirmation practices in St. Charles Church in May and June of 1966. You’re still the only one I ever “walked up the aisle with” in church — as if we were a couple.”