I had dinner with Katsumi tonight at a restaurant I would never frequent if they didn’t have the best chicken fingers ever. We drank beer, ate food, and it was almost like something that’s normal to do – sharing corned beef and cabbage with your soon-to-be-ex husband while listing and dividing all your tangible assets. My drive back to Franklin was silent and slow, mired as I was in a pensive rush hour. You can’t help but wonder, sometimes, why things happen as they do or what things you might have done to make the outcome better. You wonder why it all even matters in the first place. Dinners with Katsumi bring such existential questions to the fore and I don’t like it, particularly. So I reached into my pocket for my iPhone.
My iPhone is to me what the blanket is to Linus – constancy, comfort, stability, assurance. As long as I have my iPhone I am never bored, I am never alone, and I can always find the nearest gas station. It’s almost always in my hand. I sleep with it next to my bed. I’m addicted. Like, you know that commercial where it’s shot from the POV of a phone, and the announcer is all “your phone is the last thing you see at night and the first thing you see when you wake up”? They made that commercial about me.
Of course, my iPhone wasn’t in my pocket.
I’d been having a sketchy feeling lately about it, like I was poised to make some type of grave error, so I wasn’t that surprised when it wasn’t in my purse either.
I doubled back over the Pike and headed East towards Cambridge, to the restaurant with the really good chicken tenders. “You know,” I thought “if they don’t have it (which they won’t), if someone stole it (which they did), maybe it’s not the worst thing ever. I mean, I could live without a phone, right? It wouldn’t be so bad, maybe?” Even as I practiced stress-reduction techniques I’d learned last summer in the Bin, I could feel my blood pressure skyrocketing. I mean, I REALLY can’t afford ANOTHER new iPhone, and ALL my contacts are in there plus ALL my text messages, Jesus, and I’d JUST run out of Ativan.
It felt like I hit every red light on Memorial Drive and it took a dog’s age to find parking, so by the time I got back to the restaurant I was practically shaking with anticipation and/or separation anxiety. I walked in, stumbled through a crowd of people (likely all there for the chicken tenders), and asked the hostess if by any chance someone had turned in an iPhone? The question hung like wet mist as the girl appraised me for an endless second. I steeled myself for the inevitable negative answer, literally digging my nails into my palms, and she reached slowly into the front of the hostess stand.
“Here you go,” she chirped, holding it like a flower. “I’d just DIE if I lost mine, you must be so relieved.”
Sister, relieved is not the word. It doesn’t even come close.