Continued. I finally realized I didn’t know WHY the telephone was invented. I stared straight ahead at nothing. With a pleading look on my face I said, ‘’Beats the shit out of me.”
When I uttered those words, all my senses shut down except my hearing. All I remember is a wall of sound washing over me. You know that high pitched cackling sound women make when they all start laughing at the same time? Don’t they call that the G Note, or something like that?
When that wall of vibrations hit me I thought my head might fly back so hard I’d re-injure an old neck injury I got when I played football. Continued.
What’s funny is, I wasn’t even trying to be funny. This was one of those moments when you find yourself being honest in an unconscious way. The experience of total honesty on an unconscious level is so far from the real world it catches people totally unaware in the real world.
People laugh in relief after being surprised by the unexpected.
What’s even funnier is looking back, I can still see myself continuing to ponder the question while the chorus of G Notes washed over me; maybe Alexander Graham Bell was just trying to figure out a way to let his servants know it was time to bring the soup into the dining room, when he invented the phone. Or, maybe he didn’t know what the damn thing would be used for. he just knew someone else was trying to invent one and he wanted to be first.
So, how could anyone really know why the phone was invented?
I was sure those three women didn’t know that the question had taken on such large philosophical dimensions to me and no way was I going to give them even an inkling of my thoughts.
Just before the cackling started to die down I knew the room was going to get quiet and further comment would be expected from me. I got nervous and tried to think what I’d say but a soft voice inside my head kept whispering, ‘’Quiet, quiet, quiet.”
So, I decided to refrain myself and shut up for a change.
A lot of the tension in the room had been released so I figured, if I played my cards right I could slip out of there unscathed by further attacks about my other infraction, the tardiness of my paperwork but, only IF I could refrain from saying something dumb which would start the talk cycle all over again. I needed to move straight ahead with little or no verbiage.
I was in the cusp, so to speak. I could have disappeared to the far side of the moon at that point or laid flat on the surface of a full moon, fully exposed for all three of them to take pot shots at me, whatever in God’s name all of that means.
I know you’re probably waiting with ‘baited breath’ to know what happened next which, I don’t even know what ‘baited breath’ means. Baited? Baited breath to catch what? How could your breath be baited? Or, maybe ‘baited breath’ has to do with being aware that someone might be telling you a fish story?
Of course I know this is all ridiculous. But, if you really care, here’s what finally happened.
After the laughter died down, I played it real cool. I stretched, like I had just finished putting the finishing touches on my Ph.D. thesis and was satisfied with the results. Then, I very nonchalantly (I had to be very careful not get too close to the waste paper basket since, within 12 inches or less it’s a ‘given’ I’ll knock it over.) moved past Carol’s desk, past all three of them, toward the same door I’d been looking at earlier while I was in LaLa Land thinking about Alexander Graham Bell and dropped my paper work into the Inbox.
Then, I turned and before anyone could say anything I said, ‘Hey, I gotta go. I left my car running. Have a great day. Call me if you’ve got something for me Carol. I promise I’ll check my messages more often, ok? I promise!’’
I pushed the door open and stepped outside. Before the door closed I snatched a quick look back into the office. The three of them were looking at me with smiles on their faces. Jennifer looked like the girl from the Exorcist the way her head was twisted around.
I was trying really hard to continue being nonchalant. I kept a pleasant smile oj my face. Finally I heard the door click behind me and I was free! I pictured myself walking away, limping of course because of that stupid hip of mine. I wondered if they were looking at me through the window thinking what a ‘’Clyde’’ I was?
Most of the time life is a never ending stream of ridiculously funny, unpredictable events that stream along side the river of consciousness that’s part of my real world. I never know what’s going to happen next or, what I’ll do in response. It’s as much of a surprise to me as it is for anyone else involved so, I get to laugh along in “third person” which, for all intents and purposes, I think I am.
The end of this episode was pleasing, enough. I was happy to get the hell out of there unscathed. Therefore, I didn’t have to go back to my car and beat up on myself for saying something really dumb like I usually do AND it was reaffirming that I finally had the balls to use the car as an excuse to get out of the office thereby NOT wasting a shit load of gas.
Truth of the matter is, I’m not even sure what happened wasn’t really stupid. All I know is, all three of them were smiling when I left so I guess everything is just fine.