72.

There are a million reasons tonight’s mishap could turn into something wonderful. It will bring about immeasurable epiphanies and lessons. I expect there will be light shed on little gifts I typically overlook. Certainly, there will be multiple inconveniences. I picture them. I can’t put my finger on how I will manage, but there is no use thinking about that now.

It it what it is, indeed. This hour begins the first of 72 without my smart phone. That is three full days. The “gratification” of technology has abruptly become void from my world (but I’m still typing on my laptop).

I was standing on the platform at the Braddock Road Metro when I reached into my pocket only to find a SmarTrip card and Chapstick. Rummaging through plausible pockets in my purse and backpack didn’t do any good. I knew I had left it. Even worse, I knew where I left it. My entire gut sank. It’s still sunken, although not as deep. I’m coming to terms with the circumstance, though leisurely.

Fast forward from Braddock to Gallery Place/Chinatown.
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I’m leaning against a cement column, waiting for the next train toward Glenmont and wondering what to do with myself. I pull out the book I just started for my monthly book club. Before I begin reading the second chapter, I look up at my surroundings. The middle-aged, glasses-wearing man in the long black peacoat to the left is staring down at a handheld screen. A few feet to my right is a girl my age who is dressed to hit up the city. She has posture identical to the man. I look in through the windows of the train pulling up on the opposite track. Unsurprisingly, the majority of the crowd is gazing downward. I would be doing the same thing if I had my scam of a device. I would be amidst the crowd, being one with them.
But now I’m different. I feel it. And I hate it. Why can’t I just be? What’s wrong with looking up? What have I become? What have we become?
And now I’m riding through Baltimore on the top level of the Mega Bus in the very front. It’s a super view of the city up here through these great impressive windows. I’m above the very top of passing tractor trailers. It can’t be the safest spot, but I wish I would have sat up here on a few of my other 37 (or so) rides this past year.
I’m still taking it in. Three days…
I’m headed home to my parent’s house tonight. And tomorrow, I head to the Delaware beaches to hang out with my grandparents. God couldn’t have chosen a better time for me to disconnect. Maybe reconnect is more fitting of a word. I anticipate there are far greater lessons to be learned than those I can conceive. They are simple, probably. But they are going to hold great significance. I’ve always been one to hold low expectations, but this weekend, I cannot.
I find it disheartening that this seems like such a quandary – living my life without a smart phone for three measly days.
Maybe that will change. I expect it to do so. Join me?
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