Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Mystery, intrigue and a phone booth

Sometimes, a girl needs to get away from the farm and run to the city. Some days, she is reminded that those worlds can be very different. Grab a cup of tea, you may find this interesting.

When I travel, my mind tends to retain the bits and pieces of conversations with people I may be sitting with. It also retains those bits and pieces of conversations that may be overheard, coming from the people who sit near me. This trip proved no different in this fact, but sometimes those conversations are unwanted, even to this writer.

Exhausted, after a long day of travel I was hoping for a good nights sleep. My mind had other ideas. It had all those bits and pieces floating, and then crashing into each other. They seemed to be in a battle to see which one would make it to pen and paper stage. This is not unusual for me, there always seems to be some kind of battle going on up there.

Most of the stories that crash around in my mind will ultimately make it to, at the very least, my journals. Hopefully, to be read by someone when I am long gone. This story, probably should not see the light of day, but it had bothered me enough to write about it here. It is not necessarily about the conversation per say, but the facts about the where, by whom and how it had been overheard.

This conversation took place on a bus full of people. It was overheard coming from a person using a cellphone. This person obviously did not understand something that we all should be reminded of. The fact is, that a seat on a bus with a cellphone will never be as private, as say, a phone booth on a street corner during those days of long ago. 

Those old detective stories, as you may remember, had everyone doing those secret conversations that needed to be kept private, from a phone booth on a street corner. I wish, I had never heard this conversation, and I have a suspicion that everyone that sat near me wished they had not either. We all wished this person had been in a phone booth on a corner. I honestly have no doubt about that.

It, in my mind was like being plunked down into the middle of a detective novel, where all the elements of a mystery with words like detectives, MO’s and evidence were swirled around like a clue that we were supposed to retain, and then had to solve as we went along in the book. This was not a book. It was a person who was speaking very loudly, during a “private” cellphone conversation. This meant I would never know the ending, and honestly I was actually happy about that. I looked at my phone and it was almost time for my stop. I kept singing in my head so I did not hear anymore.

Possibly, this person was a mystery writer, and was working out the plot for a story that they were writing. I honestly will never know. The bus pulled into the station, I exited as quickly as I could, without looking back to see who was doing the talking. I do know from reading all those old detective novels, and watching all those old movies that it is always better not to see anything.

Yes indeed, the city is a very different world than the one I am used to. Then again, my mind is very different in the way it works. Was this conversation the truth, or just a story that they, and now I, will be writing about? I guess we will never really know. Another mystery it seems, but I do know we probably need to bring back the old phone booths.

Have you ever overheard a conversation that you wished you had never heard from someone using a cellphone?


  1. Oh man, that's the worst, Buttons! I usually overhear conversations about shopping for shoes or picking up kids at school. Sounds like yours was more disturbing. You're right, "private" doesn't seem to have as much meaning anymore.

  2. My curiosity is endless but yes, there have been snippets of conversations that I would like to scrub out of my brain. And some images too.

  3. I hate the fact that people use these phones when travelling by bus or train ...

    All the best Jan

  4. I think a sound proof shield should drop around anyone using a cell phone. I truly resent the intrusion. Oh, well, I think I may be getting old and crankier.

  5. The answer to your question is easy...all of them. I remember the first cell phone I saw.I was on a bike trail. I could hear one person talking. The person came in sight and was talking loudly . I thought he wa a lunatic. Only when I met him did I discover that he was on a cell phone.

  6. Yes I have heard conversations that I would have rather not listened to. It was more like a gossipy loud talking on the phone. I wish people would refrain from using their cell phones in public especially in restaurants.

  7. Perhaps it's wrong of me, but now I really want to know what she was saying.
    I have heard bits of conversations that never should have been heard and this is one reason I always use the text option, most especially on public transport. If someone wants real conversation, they'll have to call back later.

  8. Wish I didn't hear any phone calls from other people. It's rude to begin with to speak in a public place whereby everyone can hear you, but so many people don't care these days.

  9. Grace girl it never .. and I mean NEVER ! ceases to amaze me that people have such personal PRIVATE conversations in PUBLIC !
    Do their brains suddenly become complete idiotic jello ? do they think everyone around them has an "off" button ?
    What is wrong with these people ? it seems to be a mass epidemic in any case ... my neighbor behind me has a voice like nails on a chalkboard and will have those conversations while I am trying to find some peace and solitude working in my garden ...
    I give up trying to figure this problem with people out ... and then they complaint about lost privacy in an age of technology .. a HUGE "DUH" to them !
    Hope you are well and enjoying the weather girl !
    Joy : )

  10. B,

    Life would be so much better if cell phones were no longer permitted in public places.

  11. Your title had me from the get-go. I do not want to hear other peoples conversations. I am not interested in their problems and usually try to get out of range. However, being trapped on a bus, plane or subway car is the worst! Another example of how disconnected people are from their environment.

  12. It is amazing what you hear when you're not "part of the conversation"...:)JP

  13. Yes and I often wonder why people say what they say....I can so relate to your desire not to hear

  14. That is an awful experience. Yes it happened to me too.

  15. People are so weird. Do they really think they are having a private conversation even if we can't hear the other side?


The mind grows by what it feeds on. J.G. Holland

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