Whenever I miss a call, when I see that unknown number and don’t feel like saying “no this isn’t Patience Shabala; you’ve got the wrong number”, or when I don’t feel like being offered funeral cover on a Monday morning. I mean my plan was to eat a salad, do some work and look up cute cat compilation videos, not to feel morbid, write out my will and stare out the window as if in a sad music video. When I watch my phone ring silently, while I hide from the vicious telemarketers, I start to wander into ‘what if land’.
What if that was Bos phoning to tell me that I’ve won a year supply of Lemon Ice tea or Ford phoning to tell me that I had won a Ford Fiesta from a competition I had entered in 2013? I mean imagine driving around in a Ford Fiesta whilst sipping on some ice tea? Would that not define the lyric “they see me rollin, they hatin”? What if that dream agency is calling to tell my that they’ve discovered me, that I am supremely talented and they will fly me to their New York offices immediately to start working. What if Matthew Gray Gubler is phoning to say “Hey listen I’ve been stalking you on Instagram, marry me?”.
This land of ‘What if’s’, that I find myself wandering into, is fuelled from years of secretly believing in chicken wish bones, fortune cookies, 11:11, shooting stars, lucky bridges, birthday candles, folded crisps and dandelions.
‘What if’ land is a lovely place to visit, but one should always be a guest, not a tenant. It’s a place of pastel colours, where you eat only chocolate and never get fat, a place far better than reality. That’s why it’s important to always leave. Those wishful mind wanderings are a wonderful glimpse into your ambition and hope, and break from your day job but should be treated as a temporary escape, unless you want to live every day with a sour taste in your mouth.
Then my phone stops ringing and I’m filled with regret because what if that was Ellen wanting me to be a guest on her show, so naturally I sit sulking for at least five minutes; all because of a persistent telemarketer or old person who dialled the wrong number.