Connection


My phone is dead, dead, dead. Dried out and flipped open, it still wouldn’t turn on. I keep thinking that I’ll get it taken care of, but I’ve been turned on to the Iphone which would require my changing carriers, and I have a single month till my contract expires.

I’m still not sure what I’m going to do. I check my messages daily, and it seems strange that no one leaves their number despite an explicit request to.

“Hi. This is Nancy’s phone and she killed me. She drowned me in the swamp at the DeSoto National Forest, so please leave your name, AND your number, and she’ll get back to you as soon as she can.”

Most of my messages are along the lines of, “Haha! You killed your phone! Call me back.”

Ugh.

I realize how dependent I’ve become on my cell phone for basic organization, and how easily I could lose touch with almost everyone I know. I’m terrible at remembering numbers.

I know that disconnection and separation are illusions and yet, I found myself wondering if, in the age of all this technology, if sometimes connection and togetherness are the real illusion. When the cell phones, or the Facebook, or the IM program are connected, we are connected. When the phones hang up, when the laptop dies we are disconnected. Silence is mistaken for apathy, for better or worse, and being cut off from this modern macrocosm seems silencing and cruel.

But it’s a flawed equation: Apathy usually communicates itself through silence, but silence has so many other causes that it simply cannot be assumed to be apathy.

I forget that, sometimes.

I recently had a friend “come back from the dead.” I had given up trying to contact him over a year ago, assuming that silence was apathy. Almost three years ago, we had spent the night, on opposite ends of the continent, talking about stars and destiny and destructive forces. Almost three years ago, his family had invited some woman, me, that none of them had ever met in person, including my friend, to stay with them post Katrina. They had offered to pay my way, put me up, and help me find a job and get settled if I chose to move to Canada.

This was a chick that their son and brother had met in a video game.

I couldn’t do it due to responsibility here and a whole lot of excuses, and sometimes that’s a decision I still regret when I get to playing the “What if?” game. But I have never, ever forgotten the generosity of the offer.

But we stayed in touch, and then fell out of touch for a long, long time.

And then I heard from him.

Turns out he was in a horrible accident, requiring much physical and cognitive retraining. He was in bad, bad shape. We talked for a long time, and, except for the fact that I could notice small changes in his speech and diction, it was just like it had been before. Equal part of serious discussion, infantile jokes, and crazy sounding laughter on both our parts.

It wasn’t so much that we had picked up where we had last left off, but rather had continued on without realizing it until that moment of contact.

And that is the essence of connection, I think.

Frazzle, if you see this, I love you, love you, love you, and can’t wait for you to set a date and get married.

I’ll be there with bells on to give you, your bride (who definitely deserves it!),  and your family a kiss.

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One thought on “Connection”

  1. It is weird how dependent we get on our ever-evolving technology for connections. I have a cell phone but hardly ever use it as I’m not a ‘phoner’ by inclination (have always had stage fright with phones of all ilk).

    Yet at work, Wednesday night they accidentally fried the server that runs our email and as of Friday evening it was still down (I refuse to check over the weekend for fear of stroking out over assignment demands stacked to the roof).

    But it was as if the company virtually shut down. Some people remembered how to, yes, phone, and some (including me even remembered how to get up and walk to another part of the building), but mostly it was just extremely quiet and no one could think how to function. Ha!

    I used that as an excuse to send me and my troops home at 4:15. “Act of God”, I say, “Gotta head home”

    🙂 Shu

    Like

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