What? Disconnected? That’s impossible. But there she was again, that nice lady on the other end of the line telling me that she was sorry, but the number I had dialed was no longer in service.
Other than my social security number, which I will not share with you, that phone number was better known to me than any other number in the world. Yes, I know Pi to umpteen decimals, and all the basic integers. And my birthday. But this phone number….
I still remember the phone number from the house I grew up in. Thirteen years. And nearly forty years ago. At least the last four digits. 1883. That’s pretty good considering I don’t know my wife’s office number. Or either of my kid’s cell numbers. Or even my own work number half the time. But this number….
For thirty-eight years this number represented home. Not where I lived, but where my family was. This was my parent’s phone number. For 38 years. And today it was shut down. Forever.
I say forever but the phone company will probably give it to someone else. I might call it one day to see if the new owners are deserving. Like my parents. For thirty-eight years I knew I could call this number and a person who cared about me would answer. Someone who gave me everything. Who would do anything for me. And had repeatedly done so much. It just rolls off my tongue, straight from my memory. Without a second thought. But now I don’t need it anymore.
My parents moved today. They didn’t take the number with them. Take that you nasty telemarketers! They were downsizing. Starting anew. So they decided a new phone number was in order as well. I hope they can remember it.
I’ve got the new number plugged into my iPhone. One of my contacts. That way I won’t be tempted to call the old number. By force of habit. But I’ll probably never remember the new number. Not like the old one.
New life for them. New chapter for me too. There will be plenty of memories associated with the new number I’m sure. But it won’t be that number….
That’s part of my story. What’s yours? www.personalhistorywriter.com