A List of Some People In My Phone

By Susan Harlan
Image: Flickr/arileu

Image: Flickr/arileu

A friend of a friend who came through town years ago (slept on my couch).

Someone I went to high school with and never really knew then.

Someone I went to high school with and knew very well but will likely never talk to again.

A name I don’t recognize.

A cab company in Montauk (called with a friend after lobsters and much wine).

The roofing company that fixed my house in a bad winter.

One of my sister’s best friends.

A place where I board my dog.

An old college friend I had a summer romance with years ago (don’t talk anymore).

My electrician, entered as “Electrician.”

A person from whom I almost rented a room and then did not.

A motel in Tennessee on a creek (so dark and quiet at night).

The roommate of a grad school friend (number no longer good).

The Five Guys closest to my house.

The guy who painted my house.

A friend no one sees anymore.

A name I do not recognize.

My sister, at work and at home, although she hasn’t worked at this place for years.

A college friend I see every few years (not much in common now).

The salon where I used to get my hair cut.

My former building management company in the city.

My former super in the city: cellphone, home phone, and “pager.”

My high-school English teacher, who always had a pen in her hand.

The temporary American cell phone of a friend who lives in Canada, from when she was visiting years ago.

One of my mother’s sisters and another woman with the same first name (not sure who the other woman is).

My grad school advisor.

A moving company.

An artists’ retreat in North Carolina where a friend stayed for a week (quite isolated in a cabin).

Someone I used to meet in hotel rooms.

A friend’s parents’ house (so where she grew up).

A video store in New York City that closed years ago, with narrow wooden shelves and guys who knew all about film.

A friend no one hears from anymore.

Someone I went to college with, last name now changed to something unfamiliar.

An apartment in London where I once stayed (with a lovely older lady upstairs who invited me over for cherry juice).

Three entries I do not recognize.

My dog walker.

A colleague I talked to about some work stuff a while back.

My dead aunt.

A laundromat that always had dried blue detergent on the tops of the machines.

Another moving company from another move.

A house I rent in the mountains (lots of fireflies and mosquitos).

The woman who ran the tutoring company where I worked in grad school – possibly no longer exists.

The girl I tutored (who lived in a very big apartment).

A friend of a friend I met at the friend’s bachelorette party.

Another place I board my dog.

Someone I saw at my fifteen-year college reunion (seemed to be doing well).

The administrative assistant at NYU’s English department, no longer the same.

A person I work with but never talk to on the phone.

A person I work with and sometimes talk to on the phone.

My teenage niece in Texas who likes Taylor Swift.

A friend whose houseboat I stayed on years ago.

“Brian Door Guy,” who changed the locks when I bought my house in North Carolina.

My dead grandfather.

A cab company in San Francisco, not called for at least half a decade.

The Strand bookstore, main number.

My friend’s husband’s parents’ former house in the Berkshires (with a white horse down the road).

Several Amys, not identified by last name.

A dog sitter who left my dog alone in the apartment for almost two days (pee everywhere, and trauma).

My cousin’s wife’s sister (probably a number for coordinating something at some point?).

The Home Depot appliances department (washing machine purchase).

“Robert House Trout” – no idea.



open-uri20150201-3-2kdp0_profile_largeSusan Harlan teaches English at Wake Forest University, and her essays have appeared in venues such as The Guardian, The Toast, Roads & Kingdoms, The Morning News, Curbed National, Jezebel, and The Awl.

Join the Conversation