What I learned from a phone book... (Part I)

Written in 2007.

Have you ever been so bored that you read the phone book?  And then you started wondering about Bill and Joanne Berkeley.  You started thinking about their gorgeous house at 280 Pleasant Lane.  Your imagination took off as you pictured the two-thousand-square-foot house with the spacious three-car garage and in-ground swimming pool.  Bill and Joanne were spending their Saturday afternoon grilling on the newly stained back deck.  Their three children were with them as they all sat down to eat the picnic feast set before them.  And after enjoying a rousing game of croquet, the five merry Berkeleys make their way into the house where they all contentedly tasted a delicious home-baked apple pie.  As soon as they entered the house, you noticed the interior lush with antique furniture, imported carpets, and top-of-the-line electronics.  But wait…the doorbell is ringing.  Who could that be?  Joanne knows!  The two elegantly dressed people standing at the door are Joanne’s parents.  Why are they at 280 Pleasant Lane?  For a pleasant visit, of course.  Joanne’s parents, Andy and Donna Donnelly, join the Berkeley family once a month for a movie fest.  Your mind thinks about sitting in that big, cozy chair in the corner as you enjoy the movies on the big screen TV.  But wait…how can you?  You’re only dreaming this, after all.  The Berkeleys and the Donnellys settle in with their popcorn and sodas and put the first movie in.  The first movie is a family favorite.  The evening continues in a similar way with two more movies until it’s time for the Donnellys to head home.  You quickly flip through that phone book and find yourself looking up Andrew and Donna Donnelly.  How did this happen, you wonder.  No matter.  Where do the Donnellys live?  At 4501 North Winchester Avenue.  You can picture the stately, “little” cottage in your mind as they pull into the drive and park the car.  They climb the ornate, sweeping staircase to the second floor and head to bed.  Ahh, well, tomorrow will come soon enough (it is your imagination, isn’t it?).  It’s now Sunday morning at the Donnelly home, and Mr. and Mrs. Donnelly are readying for church.  Isn’t that a grand bathroom?  Two sinks?  You’re jealous, aren’t you?  It’s not good to be jealous.  Well, never mind.  The Donnellys are now prepared to head to church.  Valley Christian Church comes into view, and you again begin your journey through the white pages.  Your search ends in the v-section at none other than Valley Christian Church.  The address jumps out at you, but at first you don’t realize why.  15 Roper Street.  And then it dawns on you.  The Donnellys couldn’t possibly attend church there.  Just look at their house and their daughter’s house.  What kind of imagination is this anyway?  Everything is supposed to be perfect, isn’t it?  Well, 15 Roper Street is most certainly not perfect.  The Donnellys are far too rich to be attending a church in that part of town.  You slowly begin to tap your skull in hopes that your imagination will realign itself.  Something somewhere seems to be faulty.  You find the other phone book – the newer one.  Valley Christian Church must have moved to another location; that’s the only logical explanation for this bizarre chain of events.  There’s the phone book on the top shelf.  It’s almost a year newer.


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