You are your phone

48 Hours in Northern New Mexico

It all started Friday morning when I took a shower and forgot to wash my hair. But I put conditioner on as if I had. The morning progressed and I kept crossing off tasks and then I realized my severe space-out and vowed to drop by a salon on my errands. It was too cold and too time-consuming to get back in the shower. And having a date at 3 pm in Santa Fe requires clean hair especially after skipping the shower completely the day before.

This date was the hard-won compromise first meeting of myself and my perceived perfect match who lives in Las Vegas (NM). I was anxiety-filled, yet trying to stay busy until the appointed time to gas up and hit the interstate.

In the midst of buying printer ink, having my hair washed, getting gas, eating a snack and rotating my tires, I lost my self-phone. I panicked drove over all my tracks, asked, called and sweat. No luck. So I headed back to the home office to change out of my sweated outfit, ‘suspend’ my phone service and unluckily answer a phone call, all of which made me late leaving, at 2:30, for an hour drive; at the same time forgetting to eat and forgoing the needed tire rotation.

Racing all the way up to Santa Fe, dropping some ‘Rescue Remedy’ which just proceeded to make my stomach hurt even more, I arrived calm, cool, collected and on time. No, I didn’t, but at least I had clean hair. I got to the Teahouse at 3:30 which of course adds correctly, with no date in sight and without his phone number! I thought he might be late too, so I ordered some relaxing tea and some lame cookies so my stomach would postpone its painful revolution. After 15 minutes and greeting a fellow patron with whom I went to architecture school, I realized that I had to do something to save the date.

Here is where the mini-miracle starts although my anxiety grows until the moment he stepped into my ken. !I remember his phone number! Who can do that in this time of cells? And I spied a nice girl at the table next to me who conveniently had her phone in view. I spilled my story to her, ran outside with her phone, dialed the wrong number, dialed the right number and he answers. I say, “I’m at the Teahouse. Are you around?” Yes. Begging, “Come over! I am so sorry I am late. I lost my phone…” Give him a few minutes. I fretted for at least 15 minutes which I know does not compare to the 45 he had been waiting and trying a phone that “is not receiving calls at this time.”

He arrives looking drained. I am still nutser. So we decide to get a walk of fresh air, my former school mate saying, “you are more beautiful every time I see you” as we exit.

The details of the perfect date I will spare you, and the drive home and the day of hating cell phones, the cell phone racket, gas stations, dishonesty, and basically the logistics of living in the modern world. Come Sunday, I am resigned to bite the bullet and buy a new phone at the ATT kiosk nearest me.

I am supposed to help some friends move at 2 pm, so I try to motivate appropriately. I look online to see what the options are at the ATT site; they consider ‘up-grading’ and signing a new 2-year agreement the only way to go. I look at the minute summary and decide to call all the numbers the holders of my phone had used. Two were unfriendly and had nothing to say, but one said, “let me call the numbers I usually call and see. Call me back later.” And then, about 10 minutes later, my home office phone rang. I jumped. Barely understanding her, I discerned that, yes, she had my phone, found it where I dropped it (gas station oblivion) and I could pick it up. Would there be a reward? How much? Twenty dollars. I think I can come up with that. And she gave me her address. A questionable area, and a trailer park to boot. I wisely listened to my brain saying, must find a man to go with. And I did; Mike had to be at work at 2 and would swing over on the way. I gathered twenty in ones and quarters, took my license out of my wallet, checked the google map and waited for Mike in his hot 1985 Jetta. I know I got lucky because he was wearing camo and had a nightstick to complement my pepper spray.

When we arrive, there are some men going through the gate at her trailer with a twelve pack. I hear them talking about a gun, “big as a cop one.” Mike is in the car or out of earshot. I appear at the gate and ask for Dora as the man in the lawn chair puts the giant gun behind him. He then checks inside, leaving the gun on the lounge, and says from inside, “come on in, she’s in the back.” I just say, “can she come out?” No. Come in.

So we pass through the whole length of the trailer, squeezing by the kitchen, a young boy and a teenage girl, and come to the master bedroom where Dora is sitting on the high bed and talking on the land line. I am calm and anxious at the same time, like a real undercover. After some discussion, exchange of goods, and a quick thank you, we were out of there. Mike never saw or was aware of the gun! This might have been for the best.

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