Written by Eleanor McEvoy
[from: 'Eleanor McEvoy', Geffen, 1997]
Music I lost my mobile phone on the train to work this morning. I’d moved it into my fleece pocket in case it rang so that I could hear it and as I alighted at the station I felt into my pocket for my season ticket and realised the phone wasn’t there. I dashed back onto the train to where I was sitting and it wasn’t on the seat and the lady who was sitting there wasn’t too forthcoming as she read the newspaper I’d left on the table. I was distraught. It felt like I’d lost a part of my life – as though there was a gap in my mind somehow.
On the platform I ran to the stationmaster. No one had handed it in. Then it occurred to me – I knew the number. He drew out his phone and I dialed the number. I listened. It rang. And rang. Then my own voice spoke, my answering service like a plea in the darkness ‘Hi! It’s Stuart. You know what to do…’
Where was it? Who had it?
I headed into work, stopping off at a telephone kiosk on the way to call the number again. It rang again, but less than last time. I met a former manager. We chatted on the walk up to work. I managed to keep the conversation going but all I could think about was the phone.
In work I took the nearest phone and called the number again. By this time, my hands were shaking. Someone answered.
‘Hello?’ I said. ‘I think I lost this phone, and you’ve picked it up.’
‘Actually,’ said the voice, ‘I’m the guard on the train – your phone was handed in by an elderly couple.’ I remembered them, sitting opposite me, his cloth cap, her bright yellow coat. I’ll never say anything bad about pensioners again.
The guard sent the phone back to Lime Street on the next train and I picked it up tonight, offering the somewhat appropriate password, ‘Thomas The Tank Engine’. When it was back in my hands, I kissed it lightly. I’ll never lose my phone again.
Something I neglected to mention. This is the day that everyone decided to call my mobile phone. Which was sitting in the lost property office at Lime Street Station. So everyone who called, from my Mum and Dad, to my friend and his friend spoke to the old gentleman in the lost property office, bewildering all of them with his gruff voice and tales of my lost phone. Apparently when my Mum called later on to find out when they close (yes, that’s right) he sounded as though he was about to throw it under the rails if anyone rang again…. Incidentally my ringer is ‘Enola Gay’ by OMD – I hope he’s never been in a war …. [Originally posted 28th December 2001].
[Commentary: I think at this point I was just plucking out any old posts to go with the tracks, unless the above is suppose to constitute "stray thoughts". Certainly actually having Enola Gay as the track here would seem to be more apt. This is the first Spotify embed. Sorry. The version on Youtube is awful. The version on the original mix cd was the b-side to McEvoy's Apologise single and acapella. Imagine this without the bagpipes, essentially.
The anecdote is entirely true and as a result I still have the telephone number of a public telephone box on Oxford Road in Manchester stored on my sim card. I'd call it now and then for fun at night to see if anyone answered and now and then someone did. I always remember the glee of answering a ringing call box and the people who answered always seemed amazed and delighted. Haven't tried it in a while. Such things have lost their novelty.]