Wednesday, May 6, 2015

The Cell Phone Contact List

Source here.

My wife keeps telling me,
Whenever she borrows my phone,
That I need to clean out
My contact list.

But I can't.

It's like cutting 
Some sort of cellular
Umbilical cord -
An essential connection I have
With people who are all but
Strangers at this point.

To delete them would be
To remove another straw
From the nest I build 
To comfort myself
That I exist and matter.

I know - I can find them on
Social media,
But that's so

I recognize this is the mentality
Of a digital and relational
Pack rat,
But I grimace at the thought
Of despoiling the archaeological
Alphabetical sedimentation
Of a veritable life writ large
In a column of 10-digit sequences.

I scroll through it, remembering...

My student teaching mentor,
Several college project partners,
Bus drivers from field trips long past,
The bishop from my last congregation,
Some guy I don't even remember,
Younger siblings filed under an older sibling's name,
That club sponsor who quit,
Old landlords,
A young man I tutored, now in prison,
Dead relatives and friends,
Accidental and confusing duplicates,
The Muncie, IN Boy Scout office,
Coworkers fired for sexual harassment,
Neighbors long since moved,
Families who looked after me on my mission,
"Directory Assistance" whatever that means,
4 Robs,
Friends gone off the deep end,
Former professors,
People with wrong last names listed,
Nursing homes,
My wife's old boss,

And you.

There you were - 
Right between the old flame
And the new department head.

So I called you
To reminisce on the old days
And catch up.

But you just sat silent,
Perhaps wondering,
"Who is this guy?"

Phil Call,"
I explained.

"He doesn't live here anymore,"
You misunderstandingly pretended.

Trying to cover for this faux pas,
I responded,
"Well, if you see him,
Could you let him know I called?"

"Sure," you fakely reassured.

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