I am not well today.  My symptoms are acute restlessness, paranoia and I have a feeling of being silenced.  I keeping opening my bag, looking inside and fumbling into my pockets only to come out with nothing.  And each single time, I am disappointed.  I can’t get quite used to it.  My problem this time is not chronic broke-ness.  I simply left my mobile phone at home.

I don’t know when it happened, when that tiny, noisy gadget became so important in our lives.  There was a time when I thought I was different, that I can do without it and survive like I did when I decided to go without TV for a while in order to clear my head.  That I did and there was no fuss and certainly no withdrawal symptoms.  But you have to understand then, I cannot wean myself off both TV and phone.  What next, the Internet?  No way.

It has been long since I last left it at home.  Usually, it’s the first thing I check in my bag before I leave the house.  More important than my wallet with ID and all.  You see in Kenya, we keep cash in the phone.  So if you forget your wallet, you could even ask someone to send you cash into your phone.  And phones are getting smarter.  Apart from taking over from the bank, they also serve as radio, small web screens, phones, watch, game consoles and sometimes even TV.  I have no TV in mine.   But you get the point.  When you leave your phone at home, then you have left a huge part of your life.

When it occurred to me that I had left my phone, I was quite a distance away from home.  So I decided that rather than return home, I would try and survive just one day without it.   And it’s not easy.  I keep thinking that today is the day that I will get the most important call of my life and I will miss it.   I keep hearing it ring.  And I jump every time.  The strangest thing is that any phone ringing today in my vicinity is seemingly mine even when the ring tones are vastly different.  I’m even kind of envying people who are talking on the phone while most days I prefer to hate them for yelling.

I will survive a few more hours.  But it will be one long while before I repeat such a blunder.



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