Sunday, February 15, 2015

14: No Cell Phones?

The next morning, Alan went downstairs early for breakfast; he needed to catch the 8 AM train to Hazel, his ultimate destination and home base. He was looking forward to getting there, a place he could only imagine, since he has seen no pictures. He brought along the train schedule he was given yesterday, and while looking it over, he noticed a few other lodgers already having coffee and reading the paper or talking. Then it hit him: no one was using a phone!

He also realized that he hadn't seen anyone with a cell phone last night at the cafe, or on the street...

Alan is no phone addict but he used it to check his e-mail, and was even learning text-messaging! Now he'll have to find a computer somewhere (he didn't bring a laptop) to see how his life is going. He wonders what Michelle is doing, but beyond her, he can't really think of too many people he'd want to talk to... And he has a hunch no one (except Michelle) really wants to talk to him either. He recalled verbatim his counselor-guy's suggestion to just "live in the moment, and pay full attention to whoever you happen to meet."  Hm.

At breakfast, he still feels unable to start any conversations. But when the young waitress comes for his order, he asks her about phones. "Well," she replies, "We just use the telephone in the hall." When he shows her his smartphone, she says, "Wow, I've heard of these, but I've never seen one up close - may I look? Holding Alan's phone, she marvels at how small and thin it is, and when she brushes a finger over the screen, she's flustered when all sorts of graphics and pictures flash at her. "Oh my, I don't know what I did here!" and hands it back. "That's okay," he says, and then orders from the menu.

Resigned to no phone, Alan realizes that maybe that's just as well. He likes the idea of not having to keep up with the damned thing! He gets his order of eggs, some sausages they call bangers, a glass of orange juice, and some oatmeal with raisins, butter, honey and milk. Ummm, the coffee is good too.

He left a generous tip, and walked out feeling just a bit lighter on his feet.

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