No matter how I try, I can’t see my phone as anything other than an intrusion in my orderly, organised, very much individualised, life. Just the other day, I forgot my phone. I had picked it up, along with my wallet and car keys almost without thinking. I don’t put it in my pocket because I don’t like ‘stuff’ making my pockets bulge in an unsightly manner, and just throw it on the passenger seat of the car as I drive to work. I park, get out of my car and halfway to my office remember my phone. So, I return to the car park, get the phone out of the car, and retrace my path to my office.
Unlock door, flick the light switch, open the windows, press the computer switch and plug the phone into the charger. The desktop is taking its time to warm up, so reach for the phone to see if there are any messages. The phone asks for my password, which no, is not my date of birth, and I key it in, but, as it often happens, because of my massive dinner plate hands, and sausage-shaped fingers, I do it wrong, and have to do it again.
OMG! There’s a missed call from home, New Zealand, at stupid-o-clock. It’s Dean, my niece’s husband. He never calls, something’s wrong. I panic. Dad… he’s getting on, or my bed-ridden sister, or… Now I’m not the meltdown type, but by now I’m doing a pretty good imitation. My brain’s working feverishly as I desperately press the icon to return the call, only then realising that the call has come on messenger. So, I do the screen swiping, return button pushing thing to call Dean on ‘normal’ service.
Sausage fingers and techie stuff intervene again and it takes longer than it should. I’m not freaking, but I’m desperate, and seconds, even milli-seconds, seem like hours. Eventually, I hear the dial tone… and more dial tone… and then, “Please leave a message.” I scramble frantically for what to say. Me, a wordsmith, not lost for words, but I can’t get all my fears and anxieties laid out quickly enough, while trying to sound ‘in control’, to leave a commonsense message. I don’t think, even now, I can recall just what I said. Duh!
I sit back down at my desk, phone in hand, staring at it, blaming it for what’s befallen us at home, regretting the shape of my fingers, and generally, muttering while look at a blank screen. I consider calling another sister or brother, to find out what’s wrong. I’m staring at the phone. No decision made, and the message tone sounds, but with me being a bit tense I drop the phone. It bounces off my knee, onto the floor, under my desk.
I push my chair back and being a bit lazy, bend forward and reach under the desk for the phone I can see on the floor. I’m not completely awake it seems as I get the distance wrong and give myself an almighty crack on the forehead. I fall off my chair and into the well under my desk hurt, frantically reaching for the phone while massaging my brow. I grab the phone and shuffle back, struggling to stand up, but too soon, and crack the back of my head on the desk. How dumb was that? With tears in my eyes, and stinging head, I somehow make it to my seat, and I scramble again. Open phone, password again, message icon, press the bold message heading from Dean, and here’s the message: “I think it was a pocket ring Ray, sorry!”
Sometimes, words just aren’t enough, are they?