Yesterday I got on the train to Boston and realized that I did not have my phone. It had been in my pocket and apparently slipped out as I was getting out of the car.

I don’t think that I’m addicted to my devices, especially my phone. It is true that I send a few texts, look things up on google occasionally, and read the New York Times headlines every day, but, I don’t play games or read books or watch YouTube or movies on it. It isn’t really a necessity for me…

Until I don’t have it. As I was getting out of the car I told Max that I’d call to let him know what train I would be taking home. I felt a real moment of panic. How could I let him know without my phone?And the phone is my only way to tell the time. What if I couldn’t be sure I was on time for my appointment. The train was late getting in, I had to get the T across town. What if it took longer than usual and I couldn’t call to let the office know that I might be late?

I have traveled all over the world without a phone, or a table or a computer and don’t remember ever worrying about how I would manage. How did I become so dependent on a device!

I did get across town and was on time for my appointment. I did get back to the train station in time for the 4:30 train to Ipswich. I remembered that there is a pay phone at the Ipswich station. It would be just fine.

The payphone didn’t work, it was raining, everyone else had disappeared while I fumbled with quarters that kept dropping to the return slot. I felt like crying. A man was approaching, I asked if I could use his phone. “Yes, of course.” Max was waiting for my call, he picked me up and took me to dinner, a reward for the day’s trauma.