Actually it was at night. It was a typical weekday evening. I had just finished brushing my teeth and washing my face and was climbing into bed to play Candy Crush on my phone with late night television humming in the background. Upon clicking on the app, a blank blue screen appeared. I waited a few seconds for the home page to readjust- nothing. I stayed calm. I decided to restart the phone but upon doing this it froze on the word “RESTART?” I waited a few more seconds. “It does this”- I thought. I waited a few more seconds. Then it appeared to shut off- or so I thought. But even though the screen was dark- lights at the bottom of my phone remained on. And it stayed like that. Forever. Or so it seemed.
I tried not to panic and continued to attempt to restart the phone again- nothing. I watched late night television with one eye, while the other eye stared at my phone waiting for it to shut off completely. Nothing. I tried taking the battery out and then stopped myself short remembering that this phone doesn’t have a removable battery. What was I gonna do? Go to sleep? I read one chapter of a book. I looked at my phone. Still in limbo. As a good Christian woman, I even prayed for my phone-for healing, by the blood of the lamb. Nothing. Finally giving up- I turned off the light to go to sleep. I looked one more time at my phone- and saw the frozen light at the bottom. Stuck there in time. Nothing. My mind made plans to go to the Verizon store the next day. But what time do they open? I can’t check from my phone. I can’t even get on my computer because I don’t have regular wi-fi! I use my hot spot on my phone to get online! I was completely disconnected from the outside world. Still, tomorrow would be a new day.
I woke up the next morning and looked over at Sammy, the Samsung. Still nothing. I got up and walked down to Starbucks to get my morning coffee and took Sammy with me. The Verizon store was nearby. I could at least look at their door for their store hours. It was like being in the 1980s all over again.
“I can do this,” I thought.
As I suspected, the store didn’t open until later. I would have to call the office and tell them I was going to be late, but….HOW?? Not a payphone was in sight. And even if I could find a payphone, I don’t know any of my co-worker’s phone numbers! Well, except one. Angela. And we work on different floors but she could at least email everyone and let them know my dilemma. I bought my iced coffee with my credit card instead of my Starbucks App, throwing the barista off as he looked at my quizzically. “My phone died” I lamented. “My condolences,” he said.
As I walked back to my apartment, I noticed my phone was very warm. A little too warm. Maybe it’s just overheated and needs a cool down. Uh oh, it IS a Samsung. Okay, it’s not the Samsung 7 Note that has been catching on fire, but it is a close relative. So I did what any rational person would do.
I put my phone in the refrigerator.
How would I let the world know I was offline? I couldn’t even get on Facebook to tell everyone, “MAY DAY, MAY DAY!” I couldn’t check my email or text messages. What if people are trying to get a hold of me? What if there is an emergency? What if??!
I turned on my computer to type my thoughts out in a Word Document. My one sanctuary, my one outlet that doesn’t need online access. As I powered up, the “not connected” icon glared at me in the far right bottom corner, judging me. “That’s right”, I thought. “I’m off line. But I can save my document without you! I don’t need you!”
I took my phone out of the refrigerator. Even though it had cooled it down the frozen light was probably draining the battery. I plugged it back in. Then I unplugged it and put it back in the refrigerator. Then I plugged it back in. This would be the temporary fix until I could get it to the emergency room at Verizon. I had to keep its heart beating. It’s okay, mommy is here with you.
I started thinking about those stories of people who take offline fasts. Had I become one of those people?
It wasn’t supposed to happen this way. Sammy isn’t even two years old yet. I haven’t paid him off. I’m not ready to upgrade. He can’t die. I’m still stuck in a contract!
I got ready for work and then drove back to the Verizon store. A male millennial greeted me.
“Can I help you?”
“My phone is frozen!”
“Let’s see what we have here. Oh, did you try taking out the battery?”
“No, I thought..”
He successfully took the battery out and popped it back in. Wait, I thought it couldn’t..
And then I remembered. It was my OTHER phone, the one I had before Sammy– Diana, the Droid X, that I couldn’t remove the battery. Or maybe it was Henry, the HTC…or maybe…
And just like that, Sammy was restored! Healed! Hallelujah!
With just 18 percent battery left! I had to move quickly.
I emailed my co workers to let them know I was on my way. I checked for any emergency text messages or emails. To my relief, the world still turned without me. I plugged Sammy into my car charger and drove off to work. Contemplating the entire way about getting a land line….