So I loaned my cell phone charger to my sister on Monday, thinking that my phone could hold its charge for a week until Laura was scheduled to come and visit me again. Wrong! My phone began its “low battery” beeping on Tuesday. We do not have a land line and Stephen was out of town, so I found myself in radio silence for several days. It was weird.
First of all, I found myself resorting to antiquated means of survival and communication, such as using the phone book to look up numbers and using the office phone at work. I had no way of telling time, except for looking at the clock, and I actually had to set a battery-powered alarm clock to wake up in the morning. When I wanted to dash off a quick text message, I had to go to the inconvenience of signing into my Yahoo! account and composing an e-mail. It was as impractical as sending a telegraph.
Convenience aside, not having a cell phone left me with lots of practical concerns for my safety as well. What if I had had car trouble? What if I got stuck in traffic and was running late to work? What if I had a really important question for my mom en route to the grocery store? I’d be up a creek! Also there was the looming threat of needing emergency aid when I was home alone. As a precaution, I told my co-worker friend that I was phone-less for the night, so that if I did not show up for work the next morning, she could send someone to come to my house and wake me up, or discover my body. (This comment was followed by a quick and desperate prayer that I would not be killed while taking a shower. I would be so humiliated to be found in this condition I promise I would feel the embarassment even post mortem.)
The ironic thing is, I hate the telephone. I do not like making phone calls; I don’t even like getting them, unless it’s someone I know well. Consequently, I do not get calls often. And yet I have missed my phone. It will set my heart at rest to have my fully-charged cell phone back in my pocket so that I can not receive calls in peace.