I forgot my phone in my office last night. I was distracted, I had a big box, I was anxious about my eyeliner being intact. I was beelining to a stand up comedy class and I knew I'd be seeing my soon-to-be-ex. The problem is, without my phone, I had no way of knowing where I was going next. I knew it was less than a mile away, but without GPS, I was pretty hopeless. In the pouring down rain, I asked a lady who was headed to her car if she could give me some direction and let me know if Institution Theatre was far. Her name was Purity, and she took pity on me. I wrote down how to get there the old-fashioned way--with pen and a paper and then I was on my way.
The class went fine and even the talk with the guy, but what I was missing felt like my third eye. Or limb, or some kind of appendage. Our phones these days hold worlds we wallow in, lost mentally in the glow of a 4 1/2" screen. Without my phone, I feel scrappy and lean--I talk to people more. I explore. I have a few more minutes of time for me--I remember to breathe. It's actually pretty freeing not having it here. No reaction or impulse when the texts come in, no social media binge, no internet friends. I mean, I guess I could summon them on my laptop, but then, it wouldn't be procrastination tactic, so it loses a bit of the appeal. It makes me want to steal away where I have no connection and I feed on and read words off of pages. A place that has not been so affected by recent ages. I did go off the grid with my mother a couple years ago to the Grand Canyon. The only service we had for three days and two nights were our raft crew setting up tables at our campsite for meals. I hope I forever remember the sound of the Colorado River, churning fervently while I sat still.
As we returned back to Vegas, I remember the strange joy of turning on my iPhone and hearing the messages ring in like slot machine bells. Like, the world missed me while I was away. Perhaps I will return to the rocks for another electronic detox, if only to remember what it is that I am missing.