So here I am. Sitting at my usual place in the coffee shop down the street. Ready to write my regular newspaper column. Laptop open, blank page staring back at me, cursor mocking me with its empty blinking. Small mocha on my left. And my phone in its usual spot on the righ…
Except it’s not there. Not today. I check then double-check my bag. My pockets. My coat pockets.
Which is when the image of my dead phone being put on the charger right before I left the house springs into my mind’s eye.
I’m not panicking. It’s not like I’m one of those people who can’t function in the real world anymore without it. In fact, this is actually a good thing. A great thing. No distractions. No easy way out. Maybe I’ll even hit a deadline for once.
Ah. Except my notes for this week’s column are in my phone. OK. No worries. Still not panicking. I’ll just find a new topic. What was that thing I read earlier this week? That I thought would make a funny subject? Something about…hang on, I’ll just look it up. Where’s my…
Riiiiight. Not a problem though. I’ll just connect my laptop to the wifi here and look it up. Like our ancient ancestors had to. I mean, it’s free.
Like 1993 dial-up slow.
Eh, not worth it. Maybe if I just distract myself for a bit I’ll remember what it was I wanted to write this week. Isn’t that what they say to do when you can’t remember something? Do something else? Mindlessly scroll through Facebook or something. Twitter is always good for generating topics too…
Aaaand what the hell is wrong with me? Why can’t I remember I don’t have my phone? I. Don’t. Have. My. Phone.
I should just start writing. I’ve been writing for decades. It should be like breathing at this point. Just me and the written word. Mano y mano. Is that how the saying goes? Or how it’s spelled? Remember to look that up. I should text myself to look that up. Oh, also that we’re out of coffee. I wonder how Ryan is holding up with the kids? The little one was in such a bad mood when I left. My hand instinctively reaches over and…oh yeah.
Seriously. What’s wrong with me?! I always made fun of those people who made big pronouncements on social media about how they’re “disconnecting for awhile” and taking a “tech vacation” but maybe there’s something to the whole untethering yourself from the Internet. I’m so sweaty. Why am I so sweaty? My thumbs feel twitchy.
Still not panicking. It’s just a phone. A tool. A glorified, amazingly lightweight, brick. Let’s do some people watching. I kind of forgot that people had actual faces. Ah, and everyone is looking down at their phones. Hey, that guy kind of looks like that guy I knew in college. Is it that dude from college? No, no. Looks like him though. I wonder what he’s been doing with his life. I should look him up…sigh…when I actually have my phone.
Holy crap, I’m so bored.
A series of familiar dings go off near me. That’s probably Ryan texting me back about the kids. Where did I put my…damn it!
It’s the phone of the lady behind me.
Damn it. Damn it. DAMN IT.
Not panicking. NOT PANICKING.
I do not need my stupid phone to survive in this world! You hear me!? I am doing JUST FINE.
NO ONE CAN GET AHOLD OF ME. I AM ALL ALONE IN THIS WORLD. EVERYONE I KNOW AND LOVE IS PROBABLY DEAD BECAUSE I WASN’T THERE TO ANSWER MY PHONE. AND I WILL PROBABLY BE MURDERED ON MY WAY HOME AND NO ONE WILL EVER KNOW BECAUSE THEY CAN’T IDENTIFY MY BODY BECAUSE I DON’T HAVE MY PHONE.
I’m just going to walk home. This has been a wasted and highly unproductive afternoon.
I know what will cheer me up. I’ll talk to my cousin on the way. Been meaning to call her back…where did I put…