I moved to a new city out of my home province just under two months ago. And like anyone else, I had to inform friends/family and a multitude of organizations about my change of address and new phone number. I felt in control of my life and that these changes along with my new job were exactly where I wanted to be in life. And they were, and still are. However, I have been dealing with other people’s loose ends nonstop since I moved here.
First came a slew of phone calls from numbers I didn’t recognize. They would happen mostly in the day when I was at work, so I never picked up. And then they would interrupt my dinner.
I picked up, “Hello!?”
“Um, hi… Is this…?”
“No, it’s not who you are looking for. I just got this phone number.”
“Oh sorry,” they would reply. “I didn’t know so-and-so changed their number.”
And it went on and on.
One evening while sleeping around 1 a.m. my door buzzer went off. It of course alarmed me to the point of waking up, and due to living in an old building, it sounded more like a fire alarm. I thought that if I ignored it, the person would go away. I panicked at the noise, but I thought that if I ignored it, the person on the other end of the buzzer would realize that they hit the wrong unit number. But they kept buzzing. And kept buzzing. So I went to see what was happening, and who was disturbing my sleep!
“Oh.. are you in Apartment 511?” a strange, confused male asked me.
“Yes I am.”
“Oh. And is Kathleen there too?” he asked.
“No. No she is not. She moved.”
“Oh.” he said with a sheepish look on his face. “I’m sorry I kept buzzing you.”
He left and I went back upstairs. I started to think about how he was likely excited to buzz said-Kathleen’s buzzer for a potential booty call. Perhaps they got together every week, or every month. Or perhaps they were ex’s and it was a spur of the moment decision for him, only to find out she had moved. Or maybe they were just friends. It made me feel a little sad to know that the person in my place before me didn’t let that guy know she had moved. Oh well. Not my problem, I thought. And I went back to bed.
A couple of days later, I got a text message from a stranger.
Corry, hopefully this is still your number!? I owe you a giant apology, for the way I let our friendship suck. You are such a wonderful friend. If there’s any way I can make it up to you – let me know! I could use a sincere friend these days.
I stared at my phone. Sad. And overwhelmed.
I didn’t know Corry. I didn’t know the person sending this text message. But their sincerity struck a chord with me. I felt so bad for this person, wanting to rectify their friendship, and also needing a friend at the present time. I kindly informed them that I was not their friend, that I was new to town and got a new phone number, and that I hoped they could track down their friend.
All these things made me reflect on the loose ends we tend to leave when situations are not ideal, or when there is urgency, or a grudge to be had. Sometimes we intentionally want to hurt others. Sometimes we are just absent-minded. But it made me wonder what loose ends I have left in my life. What people have tried to contact me after I’ve moved or changed phone numbers? And what kind of message did my absence give to them?
I know one thing for sure… I am making a list of possible loose ends in my life and I am going to make every effort to ensure they are all tied up. I don’t want anyone to feel as sad as the buzzer guy looked, or the disappointment that Corry’s friend felt. No one likes to be left behind. No one wants to be part of a loose end.