You can have your cell phone on your person the whole day and it may not ring or tremble and you hardly care, but let you misplace it for a day and when you finally find it, see how you run to see who’s been hanging on a ledge waiting to hear back from you.
At first you feel guilt as you look for the tiny little device because surely someone is reaching out to you and you are essentially ignoring them. Then you feel frustration because surely some important career-changing call or text is repeatedly finding its way to your voicemail or inbox and is just sitting there like you could care less. Then you feel panic because surely someone you love is hurt or lost and they are coming to you for help and you are practically turning a deaf ear.
But then . . . Oh, but then after a day of looking under every stray piece of paper in your office, your car, under every article of clothing, inside the folds of your suitcase from Indy that you still haven’t unpacked though you’ve used that phone a dozen times since you got off the plane, under towels and newspapers and blankets – then you find the thing! You dance around the room in Gollum-like glee so happy to have found your cell phone and you look to see what you have missed and the only unanswered calls are the ones you made to yourself with someone else’s phone in your pathetic search to find it.
Nothing like a little dose of reality to see you straight.
I should be glad nothing terrible happened while the phone was snoozing on vibrate mode under a sheaf of papers on my bedside table.
I am glad.
I just can’t believe nothing fun happened either.
Perhaps I was being gifted a glimpse of what life used to be life before we had them. Do you remember those days? When you kept change in your pocket for a pay phone and when you knew how to read a street map and when you had to converse with the people you stood beside in line because you didn’t have a cell phone for instant entertainment and when you didn’t need validation every ten minutes from your email account? Remember what it was like to be be looking up instead of down?
Perhaps I will fast from my cell phone every Thursday . . .
On Monday we’ll chat about Charles Martin’s Where the River Ends. Til then, enjoy your weekend, hold your cell phone tight. And unpack your suitcases.