No Phone For 7 Days: A Life Experiment

Undoubtedly, my shitty attitude had been bringing on a flurry of rough life situations in April. All the things that could have gone wrong or just not gone were doing that, all at the same time. I don’t mean to be dramatic but sometimes when it rains it pours. So lately I had been feeling like the scene in Aladdin when they are trying to escape the Cave of Wonders on the Magic Carpet right before the cave closes around them.


Cave of Wonders=Life

I am a positive person, I have seen the movie, we slip out just in time with the lamp and everything wonderful in the end. However, there is a middle part, of learning, that you can’t know or control until it is happening. I am feeling much closer to exiting the cave now, fear not.

What Happened To The Phone

On a Wednesday afternoon I was heading to meet a friend to watch the Spurs game at a bar in North Hollywood. There is a store I like nearby so, knowing I was going to have some drinks during the game, I took a Lyft to the store and planned to walk from there to the bar. Due to my constant adult-like behavior (sarcasm), my phone was almost all the way dead. When I got in the Lyft I asked to charge it and slipped it in the back pocket of the passengers seat to let it charge up. When we arrived at the destination, I got out of the car with my bag and went in the store. After 15 minutes of looking around and picking out what candles I wanted I reached in to grab my phone so I could get my credit card and it wasn’t there. I burst out laughing in the middle of this very small store. You have to understand that I was very much in a “of course this is happening” kind of downward spiral at this time. Nothing was going right for me, so of course I leave my phone in a Lyft, while completely sober on a Wednesday at 5pm.

I know where the phone is so we just have to figure out how to get it back. I pay and then walk to the bar to meet my friend. I tell him what happened and we use his phone to submit a lost phone form online. You see, it’s usually easy to get a lost item in a ride share by using the app on your phone to call the driver you just had. Seeing as it was, in fact, the phone that would have the app on it, that wasn’t really a possibility.

My phone causes me a lot of anxiety some times, it’s what I do work through, how I check on things I’m waiting for and how we all hear or don’t hear from the people we are missing. So there was a part of me that didn’t really care that it was gone. The other part knew I was leaving for Phoenix in a day and would be much better off having the phone before then.

That didn’t happen.

Living With No Phone

The process of getting it back was difficult and had to be done over e-mail. Turns out I should have just been sending them handwritten letters to speed things up. They quickly confirmed the driver still had it and we agreed to have him drop it off at the office in Downtown Los Angeles. Then I could pick it up, easy. Except the driver didn’t get back to them about that plan for 6 days. So there I go navigating the world in a phone-less pit of despair.

I do it anyway though, I head to Phoenix after looking up and writing down directions, like a fucking pioneer. Aside from the communication and social media pieces there are many things we use our phones for that we don’t even notice. I drove 7 hours listening to the radio, whatever would come up. There was an hour stretch of the driver where only two stations would come up and they were both Christian stations and one was in Spanish. Did you know there is both Christian rap AND Christian metal bands? Yeah, take your phone out of your life for a minute and see what you can learn.

I was hoping that some of the time off would help me sort through some of the struggles I have been having and help me slide the magic carpet out of the giant panther’s mouth before it closes on me. Turns out your problems are not in your phone, they are still right there in your head. The only difference is that now you can’t silence your feelings with music you actually like or podcasts full of dick jokes.

Phone Desert

I make it to Phoenix after having to stop at a Starbucks to use my computer to get completed directions to my friend’s house. It was a little ‘girls weekend’ with my roommate from college and another one of my best friends that I played basketball with. We are a good time separately and a wild combination. This only made me a little nervous as if I was to get separated from them… would I be able to make it home? Why don’t we just put that to the test the first night, get it out of the way. We end up at this club with some dudes we met at the pool, dancing on tables and misplacing fucks to give left and right. One of the trio is married and she headed home a little early, the other found someone to touch and I was just trying not to fall off the hydraulic table that moves up and down (only in Scottsdale are you allowed to potentially murder people with nightclub flair).

I once read in a book that your soulmate is the person that comes along in the most difficult time in your life to help you through it. This phone-less-empty-soul-desert seemed like it was definitely not that time and I was kind of staying away from people. Having no phone in cocaine powered Scottsdale, AZ and losing friends to the night every 10 minutes seemed like some kind of test from the Universe. The gentleman I ended up chatting with did have a variety box of chips in his car so I really thought, maybe the soulmate thing could be true. Turned out he had just stumbled over and no one at our table knew him. Not that I have ever really required the Carfax on someone I had been with before but still.

Somehow I channeled the navigational powers of my ancestors and remembered my friend’s address and the chip guy gave me a ride home. He only let me take two bags of chips and assured me they were not for kids he didn’t tell me he had. Although, it was nice to meet him and I was home without being murdered, I didn’t find a soulmate in the fog machine capitol of the world, thankfully.

Shady Aftermath

I go the rest of the weekend dancing very close to my friends as I do not want to get lost again and chance it. We all make it through alive and I am still getting texts from people I just gave my number to anyway because even though I told them I had no phone, they didn’t care. As I returned home through 8 hours of Coachella traffic, navigating with my brain and praising Jesus through 808 drum beats, I realize for a moment that nothing really happened. I had tried to just let things come as they do, trust that things are unfolding as they should and just let it all happen. I try to do that all the time now, actually. But as I returned to my apartment to find my e-mails still empty of the location of my phone I realized that even without it I still went, danced, stayed alive and had a great time with my friends as I would have anyway. There was still a twinge of stress in my heart as I would really hope to have my phone to go to Hawaii for 12 days and my flight was 2 days away. But what do you know? The day before I got an e-mail that said the phone was at the office and I could come pick it up and I did.

Moral of the Lost Phone Story

No matter how you are feeling now, no matter what you are waiting for or hoping is returned to you from your Lyft driver, it’s going to be okay. You’re going to make it to Phoenix and back, get your phone, go to Hawaii and fly out of the Cave of Wonders just in time. If you give yourself the chance to relax into it, you may just end up with a couple extra bag of chips.

This has been another installment of “Monica does something stupid and tries to make it more important than it is” brought to you by Amazon.




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1 Comment

  1. Haha! Great ending. I don’t know if I could have lasted that long without my phone. You’re a true role model.

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