Diary of an Urbanite and a Lost Phone. (Short Story)

Day One

8:55AM  I feel like today is  going to be a different day. Yesterday was not good. I got a flat tire on my bike. So today, I’m going to take the subway like the common folk. I am going to be humble. I will take the opportunity to be more present. To arrive at work and not feel sweaty and rushed, the way I normally do.

9:00AM I have arrived at the subway station. Making great time. Even though it is rush hour, I manage to get a seat. Everything is fantastic so far.

9:03AM  I have decided to do even more than be present. I am going to do some writing on this train ride. I scribble down a few thoughts and ideas which I think are very clever. When I pause between scribbles, I notice almost everyone else on the subway car are staring down at those miniature black panic devices. Phones. Man, people are so addicted to them, it is just so sad.  I feel even better about writing stuff down like a crazy person from the past. Like a mad scientist accidentally thrust into the future by some experiment gone wrong. Scribbling down formulas of physics to calculate the way back home.

9:30AM  Arrive at work.  I couldn’t be at work more on time right now. I am a genius. Despite all of my faults and bad luck, life is going pretty swimmingly. The sun is shining. Birds are singing.

9:32AM  I may be mistaken but I may have lost my phone. It is not in either of my pockets of my cargo shorts.  Nor in the ones behind.  My shirt I am currently wearing does not currently feature a breast pocket. It must be here somewhere. I delay my trademark panic regiment, at least for now.

9:40AM  I have enlisted some unwitting co-employees to form an unofficial search party. Cadaver dogs are sent out into the wilds, covering the outside perimeter. Teams of two in makeshift forensic suits and ski goggles pour over the inside building, sweeping from east to west, then north to south.  The results yield no answers to our current dilemma.

9.:42AM  I have arrived to a conclusion that must only be interpreted as a stroke of genius. Like Galileo discovering essential components of the universe. Einstein figuring out relativity.  The Earl of Sandwich figuring out how to make a… well, you know, you get the idea. I make the bold decision to call my own phone number. It’s a crazy idea, I know. But dammit, it might just work.

9.43AM  I pick up the work land line but I hesitate for a moment.  What if I answer my own phone? How weird would that be? What would I say to me? What would me say to I?  I decide to push aside any time travel, multi-universe possibilities, at least for now. Thankfully, a woman answers.

9:44AM  We make arrangements to meet later in the day.   This is good news, everyone at work insists.  People never get their phones back. I am comforted by this.  I decide not to worry about it. I will try to go about my day as best as I can, like a soldier returning from a war zone with a severed limb.  I am the same man, only slightly different.

12:30PM  I have to say, all things considered, things are going pretty well. Every now and then, I reach for my (temporarily, I hope) non-existent phone to call or text someone, mainly because I either want to say hi, or share a crucial Monty Python non-sequitur, but then I remember my current situation.   So I re-iterate the decision I made on the subway at the start of the day.  I will use this circumstance to try to learn to be more present.  But I will intermittently check that my wallet and keys are also still present.

3:34PM  I head home.

345PM  I decide to buy a bottle of wine for the good samaritan.  After all, she deserves a reward. Many others would ignore a lost object.  Some might even re-claim it for themselves. It takes a rare breed to do the right thing these days.  At the liquor store closest to my home, I find a bottle of red with the name Grace in bold yellow letters. It is perfect for this occasion.

4:00PM I beg my wife to give up a bar of chocolate. She graciously accepts.  I gather the goody bag together and proceed to the meeting point.

5:00PM  I meet the stranger with a good heart on a street corner. She brings my phone along with a friend. Probably to make sure I’m not an axe murderer or something. Good call. I smile, mumble something about karma and give her the bag. She is surprised but accepts readily.  We wave at either, smile, say goodbye.  As I walk back home, I wonder how old she was. She looked really young. Hopefully her age coincided with current Ontario liquor laws. But who knows? Maybe she’ll pass the bottle on to someone else.

Let the cycle of karma continue.

Life can really suck sometimes. But when it’s good, you know – it’s pretty good.

I head home with the sun still shining on my face.


Featured image, courtesy wikipedia


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