The Telephone Book and other Musings

by Cathy Tenant*


Spinning tales with my girlfriend Mary over a beer and a slice of pizza on paycheck Fridays was an irreplaceable pleasure. It lasted for years. We’d meet at a local restaurant on the outskirts of town on Main Street that also served as a business route and share our thoughts about our work and family.

We trusted each other in this world of mistrust. Our friendship was like the old photograph sitting on a dresser in my bedroom. I would look at the photo of her and me and knew what it represented. It was reliable like our relationship. We could depend on each other and being there for each other. Mary was like a sister, perhaps even more so as I shared things with her that I wouldn’t with the rest of my family.

After a beer one Friday she told me that her colleagues described her being like a hardcopy of an old telephone directory or phonebook, similar to the ones people received in the 1990’s and for decades before. The phonebooks used to be delivered to our doorstep before computers and mobile phones. And, like the phonebook she was reliable, easy to become familiar with, informative, tactile, and all at no fee or credit card charge.  We laughed. But they really didn’t know her. They knew what she wanted to share with them.

Mary has been gone for a while now. She loved driving and wrote a few stories about it. I miss her every now and then. Her travels, tales, and her down to earth humanity.

*Nashville girl who knows the place is more a state of mind than a reality.