The Address Book
It was a time before mobile phones were really a thing. I was making a call from a pay phone in Covent Garden in London. Soon after, I realised I had lost my pocket address book. It had all my addresses in it. And I was planning to spend the summer in London. I think I was walking along Denmark Street when I realised it was no longer in my jacket. I retraced my steps back to Charing Cross Road before deciding it was gone.
A week later I was in a remote station waiting for a train. It may have been Cricklewood. I had got on a wrong train and was waiting for another to bring me back in the other direction. It
was empty and quiet. Looking up at the train times I saw I had some time to kill so I started to walk down the platform. As I approached the end of the platform I noticed a guy standing there with his back to me. He must have heard my footsteps because he turned around. Straight away I recognised him as someone I had seen around Dublin. A friend of a friend. He looked at me, reached into his coat pocket and then coolly handed me my address book.
He had received it in the post a couple of days before. Someone had found it on top of a pay phone
in Covent Garden and sent it to the first address they saw in the book.
He acted like it was no big deal but I was gobsmacked. Then he walked away,
Later on the train to Kings Cross, I was trying to figure out why his address had been in my address book. Then I remembered. A mutual friend of ours in Dublin had insisted on writing it in there before I went away on my trip, ‘in case I ever needed anything’, as the Irish always say.