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The Confessional Hotline That Changed Marissa Bridge's Life

From Audio: Who’s Sorry Now? | 1

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The Apology Line
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Duration: 04:50
Marissa Bridge describes her husband's anonymous confessional hotline ("The Apology Line") and the night that changed her life forever.
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Marissa Bridge describes her husband's anonymous confessional hotline ("The Apology Line") and the night that changed her life forever. Allan Bridge, who called himself "Mr. Apology," initially set out to display the human condition and did not expect particularly dark or revealing apologies to come into his line. However, patrons soon began to unload their deepest and darkest secrets and the Bridges were left to decide how to handle such vital information without going to the police.
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We were all artists, so we talked about our work, politics and how we were surviving in the city. The host was a man named Alan. Toward the end of the dinner, as it was wrapping up, Alan just sort of casually said, Would anyone like to hear the latest that came in today from apology? Apology was Allen's newest project. Doug's girlfriend, Carrie, vaguely remembered. It had something to do with people calling a phone line. Alan held up a cassette tape. Allen was standing and sort of gesticulating. Yeah, he was excited and we all kind of said Well, sure. Allen walked over to his cassette player, popped in the tape and turned out the lights. First we listen to what every person who called Allen's phone line would hear. A now outgoing message in Allen's deadpan voice. This is apology. Apology is not associated with the police or any other organization, but rather is a way for you to tell people what you've done wrong and how you feel about it. All statements received by apology will be played back to the public, so please do not identify yourself. Talk for a long as you want, then We heard the voices of callers who left messages. I witnessed a crime. I did not report it down in the men's room at Penn Station. Someone being forced in the booth e would like to stop feeling the way I do about blacks and Puerto Ricans of Chinese. I'm really sorry because I'm white, female and rich. I just wanted to I'm sorry to all those poor souls out there that wake up black and blue the next day after I beat the shit out of I've got not really an apology to make except to one person who was my lover was listening on extension. I'm sorry. E made his life difficult to him. E love you, Max. E apologize Around the dinner table. No one moved. Everything became quiet except the tapes. The calls kept coming and became mawr disturbing. E I guess you know, 15, 20 people that I've stolen money from and mugged and robbed and frightened. I'm sorry. I'm sorry. E 15 times doing this'll. Last caller wasn't like the others around the table. The mood suddenly changed. Let's see. There's Henry. Uh, I killed Henry. Hey, was a neighbor. Hey, was a classmate of mine. The atmosphere in the room just shifted from this convivial, you know, post dinner contentment, too. Abject horror. Aziz, This almost This Incubus sort of entered the room through the speaker and was actually in the room with us. This is a fantastic service. Thank you. Are doing It was a very tortured, dangerous sounding person in the world. Would be full of people like me that way, hearing that voice and watching that light Just blinking, blinking, blinking red and kind of wanting it to stop. Alan got up and turn the lights back on. He looked around waiting for our response. E Just remember us all looking over our empty wine glasses, each other with our jaws hanging open. No one could say a thing. I think we all just silently put on our coats on, and we just sort of filed out quietly and said, thank you very much. Doug and Carrie were quiet on the walk to the subway once we were on the train. I just remember looking at every Elise faces and wondering, is that that sick of who was just, you know, just confessing everything to us? You know, it wasn't something you listened to and then just move on. Not for Carrie and Doug, Not for Alan and not for me.
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