Panic!

Where’s my phone? I reach into my pocket . . .  no phone. I start to pat all pockets on the fleece vest and pants . . . no phone. I check the outside pocket of my purse . . . no phone. I begin to dig through my purse . . .  no phone. My stomach drops to my heels. THINK!

The phone was connected to the charger, I took it off the charger. It was in my hand. I went into the restaurant to order dinner to take back to the hotel. I talked to the boy at the door, checked out the salad bar, and went to the bar to order my dinner. I got the to go containers and made my salad. Now I reach for my phone and it is not where I expect to find . Where’s my phone?

I take my salad out to the car so I can look for my phone. I look around my seat, no phone. Where is it???

I walk back to the front desk and ask the door greeter if he saw it. No, he didn’t. I ask the bartender where I ordered my dinner. No, he didn’t see it either. What do I do? Aha! The bartender says, ” Let me call your phone, then maybe we will hear the ring.” Great idea! I tell them it is an old phone ring and I will go out to the car and listen to see if it rings.

What did I do with the phone? I am sick to think that I’ve lost it. My mind tumbles through many thoughts and none of them are reassuring.

Yes! I hear it ringing in the car! Relief floods through my body, but I still can’t find it. I return to the restaurant to report that I did hear ringing, so it is somewhere in the car. I get the remainder of my dinner, but I will not leave this parking lot until I find that phone.

I kneel down on the ground (grateful that it is not wet or freezing cold) to check under the car. No phone there (that’s a good thing!). I move the seats. I pull everything out from under the seats (Triscuits? I forgot they were back there.) NO PHONE! I know I heard it, it has to be here. My hands are sliding between narrow openings searching for that rubbery feel of the phone case, all I feel is carpet and leather and frustration!!!

What else can I do? I am feeling better because I heard the ring, but I should have found it by now. My last attempt is to move the driver’s seat a different direction. And there it is!  The panic is over, but I am still unnerved by this experience. I head back to the hotel with my dinner (not that I have an appetite now) and my PHONE! Dinner is cold but I don’t care, I have my PHONE!

All I can figure out is that it slipped out of my hand as I unfastened the seat belt. I didn’t notice it because that is not the hand usually holding the phone.

How silly is it to be so tied to a piece of electronic equipment? I just know, I don’t want to live through this again.

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16 thoughts on “Panic!

  1. Your experience triggered my own memories. I couldn’t find my phone this morning. Came home called Verizon to see if I had put GPS on it. They couldn’t tell. The lady commiserated with me.

    After hanging up my husband’s phone. He tried calling me when I went out to the pickup to search again. He had heard it near the kitchen. I searched it was between the pages of one of my cookbooks.

    Then we went out and I bought a case and a leash. Here’s to less stress. Your writing connected, what a great piece.

  2. Your piece totally stressed me out. I don’t have a fancy phone– only one of those little $10 crummy phones and it still stresses me out every time I lose it (at least twice a week!)!

  3. Ugh, the anxiety of feeling unreachable and unable to connect…you know in case there was some reason to connect. I so understand this anxiety that you felt. Such power in a little ringing machine!

  4. Oh, Elsie, I can picture you searching and digging and looking and pondering and wondering wishing all the while I could help you! It is amazing how we are so connected with technology — a phone can be a life line. So glad you had the happy ending of finding your phone. So, what are you going to do so THAT doesn’t happen again? 🙂

  5. Your varied sentences kept the movement going. I was with you through your search, my heart feeling anxious. I wanted to read the end just to make sure all was okay and was relieved when I did.

  6. I am thinking that maybe it is not the technology itself that was the loss, but rather the connection that technology provides. You definitely share a moment that is so well told we can all identify with your feelings!

  7. Elsie, a small moment in time, where great anxiety existed, be it briefly, but so clearly captured. It is easy to identify with your predicament. The voice in your writing was such a strong feature. I can use this as a mentor piece to illustrate how a moment in time can be filled with rich detail and tension.

  8. Well…you found it, that’s what counts. I go through this just about every other day…maybe I should have it on the same loop around my desk that holds my eyeglasses. You are right, though, Elsie – that little piece of technology has become key to one’s peace of mind!

  9. I was with you the entire piece. Your missing technology woe is certainly a universal theme. I know we’ve all been there, panicked, when we cannot locate that little phone of ours. Personally, my problem is that I have a very subtle ring (a doorbell ringtone) that I keep on low so I can never hear it when I cannot find it. Kinda of silly, eh?

  10. jee young says:

    Ahh, I don’t know what I would do if I lost my phone. I feel like I’m way to attached to it, now that I can check e-mail, internet and everything else on it. I could feel your frustration as you were going through your search. Glad that you found it in the end!

    jee young

  11. Great scene for a book. Once again, the small brings out the human condition!! I have a Kindle story I should share–inspiration from Elsie once again!!

  12. Oh my, I hate losing things & have trouble doing anything until they’re found, just as you so artfully described, Elsie. I’m so glad you found it, and the triscuits! Love this line: “all I feel is carpet and leather and frustration!” It says it all.

  13. I tortured my way through your slice Elsie, walking in your shoes. A month ago I was working at a new school and I didn’t have my phone. I figured out how I could pass up a lunch break to race home to make sure I had it and keep it with me.
    We are insane!
    Bonnie

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