I do not have a cell phone. I used to have a burner but they took away my number because I left it in a drawer and then forgot. While I didn’t miss the phone I liked that number, and the idea that I couldn’t meet a standard of care drug dealers, dead beat dads, and escapes cons manage was troubling. I called Telus from a land line and asked if I could trade in my phone for just the number. I’d rather a soul than a corpse. They tried to sell me an I-Phone with a three year plan. I told them I couldn’t own something more ambitious than me and besides I did have a credit card. They said I lacked essential numbers and suggested I get my life in order.
It’s been a couple years now and the circumstantial lack of a phone has settled into an institutional policy. I like being a name without a number. Though there is a stigma. What was seen as a quirk, like not being able to roll your tongue, has become a deformity, a garish hare lip stubbornly uncovered by a tasteful beard. Why don’t I just get one so I have it if I need it? I’m more concerned with the things that I need and don’t have. I like having to lie when I don’t know something. Being missed when I am gone. Remembering instead of capturing. I don’t want to exist in a cloud that I didn’t fly to under my own power. I don’t want altitude, I want agency.
I suppose I’m afraid of being distracted. Of splitting my perceptions off into smaller and smaller fragments until I’m not really seeing or thinking about anything. Until I’m absorbing but not reacting. I need my walls. I need the world, but not all at once.