Thursday, 24 October 2013

The Fear of being Dis(Connected)

I lost my phone tonight... I think I left it on a bench on the top of Horsenden Hill. It was strange, when I found out I'd lost it I was really quite anxious and peeved..... then I was relieved....then I sort of almost believed... that I'd lost it for a reason, and that it was a sign. To be real, to be true, I've been trying to lose my phone for the past six months. I've been trying to disconnect for a long time and this last year there have been more than a few occasions where I've very nearly done it, thrown my mash-up mobile in the river or tossed it in the bin. Lord I want to be free!

-be careful what you wish for- 

So as I was sat on the 437 bus in Alperton rummaging desperately inside my trampy bag full of random crap (inc. a phone charger, a wad of torn sheets and miscellaneous foil wrappers) man I was really scared! It dawned on me almost immediately that I hadn't saved a single number! My mate said she was going to call me in a couple of hours. I was expecting a text message from a colleague and another friend still needed to confirm a date we had planned. I could just picture my phone there on that lonely bench in the dark night on top of the hill going off every few minutes, a phone call, a text message....maybe the light would continue to flash on and off all night, all the while I would never know. I would never receive those messages that were meant for me. 

So I got back to Hanger Lane station and jumped on the tube, and the whole journey home I kept thinking of all the people who I could only get hold off via the phone; elderly friends who don't have emails, others who never check them... How would I find them? How could I get in touch? My thoughts kept backing onto themselves, what if someone text or called me, who would answer, maybe some druggie or a pimp, what would they say? And what about my mate who's coming from Scotland soon, how would she get in touch? What if someone needs to get hold of me? What if I need to get hold of someone? 

And then there's that one person, the person I would talk to everyday on the phone, the person who's call or text I would anticipate....would it go straight to voicemail....would they send me a text instead? Would they be worried if they didn't receive a reply? Hmm maybe they wouldn't, maybe no one would? Maybe no one actually really cared? There was that very distinct and real possibility, that no one would notice or care... that actually my phone wouldn't go off at all. Rather it would just remain there, still, silent and cast off.

I finally got off the train at Stockwell. As I walked down the platform I bumped straight into a friend, in fact I almost fell into her arms! We shared a warm and much-needed (on my side at least) hug before we sat down on a bench at the station and talked about all sorts of things. I mentioned to her I had lost my phone and she said, well you know I never really used to text you much. It was true. We would just find a way of coming together, when we needed to, sort of like this chance encounter at Stockwell station. She mostly knew where to find me, and I mostly knew where I could find her. Your real friends will hunt you down, she said before departing. Needless to say I was left feeling a lot more comforted and certain (about life in general).

And so I've decided to go phone-less, I'm not sure for how long, or what the outcome will be, perhaps total alienation or on the other hand a heightened sense of peace and clarity? Either way, I'm excited to find out! All the while it's a still a bit difficult to process that my humble mash-up £10 Samsung with all its number, with all the special messages that I could never bring myself to delete and all the drafts of half poems and rhymes; it probably lies up on that hill now, or at the surface of a bin or maybe even in the Grand Union Canal. Who knows. All I know is that I kind of almost hope it doesn't turn up, but at the same time, I really hope I can find a way of staying connected to those I really care about. The Joys of being (Dis)Connected; I guess this is where the real learning begins!