The Fruits of Connection

I misapprehended several accidental text messages on my cell phone, and instead of letting the accidental connection fall flat, I chose to sustain it, and let it ride out, just for fun. This is an unedited transcript of the communication we shared the first day:


[Mystery Number]: hi babe

[Me]: hi there, who’s this?

[Mystery Number]: im sorry wrong number

[Mystery Number]: have a good day

[Me]: thanks, you too babe

At this point, I giggled and thought we were finished. But then I got more texts the next day:

[Mystery Number]: hows your day so far??

[Mystery Number]: this class is so boring im falling asleep

[Mystery Number]: sorry wrong number again

[Me]: No worries!

[Mystery Number]: have a good day

[Me]: You too!

[Mystery Number]: I’ll try my best!

[Mystery Number]: thanks

[Mystery Number]: OMG!!! I have an “A”!!

[Mystery Number]: I thought I was going to get a C

[Me]: Congratulations!

[Mystery Number]: I dropped my phone in water last week, now I have problems with it

[Mystery Number]: that’s why you have been receiving my texts

[Me]: That’s too bad

[Mystery Number]: yeah

[Mystery Number]: the last two were meant for you

[Mystery Number]: just to apologize for the inconvenience

[Me]: Did you try the rice bag trick?

[Mystery Number]: yes but it didn’t work

[Me]: Don’t worry about it, you’re like a very silly pen pal

[Mystery Number]: ok, sounds good to me

[Mystery Number]: it helps me to kill time in the class

 I still did not know what this person’s name was, nor their gender, age, specific location, or even what school they were attending. None of that really interested me as much as the bizarre thread that wound its way across the country, connecting us. Eventually, though, we were bound to be curious, and start asking questions.

[Me]: What class is it?

[Mystery Number]: Government

[Mystery Number]: And it’s all about politician

[Mystery Number]: What about you

[Me]: I’m just getting home from work

[Mystery Number]: What kind of work do you do?

[Me]: I work for a land trust that owns a lot of nature preserves.

[Mystery Number]: Oh wow! That sounds interesting! so you’re like a husbandman

[Mystery Number]: An agriculturalist

[Me]: Yes!

(From then on, Husbandman became my new self-described job title.)

[Mystery Number]: Good morning pen pal!

[Mystery Number]: I just want to wish you a very good and happy day

[Mystery Number]: De nuevo con el dolor de cabeza

[Mystery Number]: Hi

[Mystery Number]: Hows your day so far?

[Mystery Number]: Hahaha… it might be difficult for you to know if the text is for you

[Me]: Yes, it isn’t easy. I hope your headache went away.

[Mystery Number]: Yes it did thank you

[Mystery Number]: You woke up early

[Mystery Number]: Do you speak Spanish?

[Mystery Number]: By the way you seen like a very calm person

[Mystery Number]: And educated very polite

[Me]: thanks, you as well! I learned Spanish at work, so I’m not an expert.

[Mystery Number]: The thing that I like about you, is that you don’t ask personal questions

[Mystery Number]: What kind of questions may I ask you, because I don’t want you to feel uncomfortable

[Me]: I am impartial, ask away!

 I was very excited to receive a questionnaire, but then came a plot twist!

[Mystery Number]: I was going to ask you some questions but I don’t think is the proper way to get to know you

[Mystery Number]: So all do something different

[Mystery Number]: Let me introduce myself

[Mystery Number]: My name is diana, came to this country when I was 8 years old. Got married at the age of 19, after 15 years I got separated

[Mystery Number]: I have 3 children

[Mystery Number]: And im trying to finish high school and in the meantime im taking small courses

[Mystery Number]: Like accounting and office procedure

[Me]: Wow! Thank you Diana! My name is Gabi, I grew up in California and now I live in Pennsylvania, no kids but I have a dog and her name is Ayla. Here’s a picture!

(I sent her a thumbnail of my dog sitting on grass with a bit of deer ribcage wedged between her paws, as she looked into the distance.)

[Mystery Number]: Wow!! It’s so pretty!

At this point I received a photo of an orange cat with a voluminous white belly, who was wearing tiny colorful socks on her back paws.

[Mystery Number]: Her name is Simba she’s 7 months old

[Me]: Wow! She is beautiful! Love the socks.

[Mystery Number]: I live in California in the city of San Pedro

[Mystery Number]: Probably you’re familiar with the city

[Me]: Yes, I know San Pedro!

[Mystery Number]: Good morning Gabi!

[Me]: Good morning, happy Friday Diana!

[Mystery Number]: Happy Friday for you too!

[Mystery Number]: I still don’t have my phone, but as soon as I get it I’ll send you some pictures

[Mystery Number]: San Pedro view its wonderful!

Delivered as promised, the coup de gras. The San Pedro skyline yawned across a many-colored sky. I feel as though Diana and I were strangers who became friends. We are connected. We shared a horizon and some text messages. What do you do when you get a missed call? What do you do when you call a wrong number? How do you respond to a telemarketer, or someone sitting next to you on the bus? I have the option of feeling like I don’t have time and energy to waste on such endeavors, but I would much rather savor the opportunity to meet a stranger! Maybe you’ll get lucky and receive the gifts of a cat in socks and the San Pedro skyline. Leave the door open for these fruits of connection. I still love opening my phone to a wonderfully well-intended and unprompted, “Good morning, happy first day of the week!”

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