|Bronze cell phone by Rick Oginz|
Yesterday, just before leaving work for the weekend, I checked some directions on my phone. I leave early on Friday, and I had a dinner date an hour after clocking out. I needed a pedicure, so I thought I'd find a salon near the restaurant where I was going.
I found it easily, parked and went in. The ladies were welcoming, and even complimented my color choice as I settled my feet into the soothing tub of hot water. I rifled through my purse for my book to read, and also to check the time on my phone.
My phone! It wasn't in my purse! and then it popped into my mind, an image of my phone where I last left it - on my desk at work!
It was the weekend, and I'd be without it. I couldn't even call my dinner date if my pedicure ran too long! "So sorry, ladies, I left my phone at work." I leapt out of the tub, and one lady brought me a towel to dry off. I crammed my damp feet into my sandals and high-tailed it out of there to my car.
I kept thinking who would still be there. Amanda and Johanna and Steve get off at 5:00; the Public Landscape folks sometimes stay later. I watched the clock in my car. The traffic light at the complicated Cloverfield and Olympic intersection took three long minutes, and then at Pico at least two minutes clicked over on the digital clock in my car. Cloverfield south of Pico is lined with speed bumps, and the BMW in front of me was extra show going over them. Then we sat waiting for the left turn light on Ocean Park.
It was 4:56. I watched a skater zoom by; a man on a blue bicycle croseds the intersection, going east on Ocean Park. Finally we turned, passing the blue bike mid block, but we caught the light at 25th, and he pulled along side. When the light changed, I moved to the turning lane, but the bike was right beside me, and I knew I'd lose the little gain I had on him at the driveway - so I stopped and let him pass in front of my car.
My coworker was in the driveway, turning out, and when I tried to pull in I had to wait for a jogger to pass across, running between our two cars. Once he passed, she turned out into traffic and gave me a happy wave. It was now five o'clock; the door was locked, and my only hope was that someone in Public Landscape was working late.
Knock Knock Knock. Wait. Knock Knock Knock. Wait. Knock - "Oh, thank you so much!" It was Matthew, the City Arborist. "I left my phone on my desk," I told him. "Thank you! You're a lifesaver!"
I got my first cell phone around 1997, through AAA, with the thought that it was good to have in case of an emergency in the car - and indeed, a month or so after I got it, I had a flat tire on a deserted stretch of I-5, and I was able to call for help. It was a small plastic block-like thing, and all it did was phone calls. Later, I got a flip-phone that took blurry photos. My husband noted with some annoyance that I never seemed to keep it charged. Then a Blackberry - and now an I-phone.
How did this little thing become so indispensable?