Today I lost my phone.

When I say lost, I mean that it fell down a drain at Collaroy. It’s now most probably floating out to sea with some grommet.

Every Saturday morning I visit my dear friend Jo at Hair Salon Des Arts at Newport. I’m happy to be the guinea pig for her apprentices to learn washing and blow-drying. It’s fun, we have a laugh, and she is a darling friend.

Today I decided to stop in Collaroy and pick up a coffee and a toasted sandwich. All good.┬áHeaded back out to the car with said coffee and sandwich, climbed in, chucked sandwich and handbag on to the seat beside me whereupon the phone flew out of the bag and landed between the passenger seat and the door. I toyed with the idea of travelling ten minutes with phone out of reach (even though I don’t look at it while driving) and decided to go around to the other side of the car and rescue it. Just for my peace of mind.

Around I went.

I noticed the big drain below the passenger door.

The thought occurred to me that perhaps the phone was against the door, and that when I opened it, the phone may fall into the drain. I chose to ignore that thought. Well, almost. I stuck my toe under the door where I thought the phone might be.

I was wrong, phone went down the drain. Bounce, bounce, plop. Into the darkness.

At that moment I felt completely alone. All the comfort I take from being connected, from dear friends knowing where I am via various apps, was gone.

I thought about calling someone to help me to retrieve it but know in my heart that my “best friend” was gone. I needed to get in touch with my son but couldn’t remember his number. Hell, I couldn’t remember any numbers. My mind went completely blank in panic. Finally, between Collaroy and Newport, I remembered one number, the number with which I’d grown up. The Dad’s home number. I called him, asked him to call my son and tell him to get in touch with me before he went away for the weekend.

That sorted, I remembered one other number, my best mate (and boss). Called him from the salon and told him what had happened. We agreed that I’d done a really good job of losing my phone as I had no insurance, and hadn’t backed up for nine months. This is why he likes me. I don’t do things by halves.

What has done me in is my reaction. I wander the planet with phone in pocket, feeling connected. Suddenly I was on my own and it made me feel desperate for a while. Noone really knew where I was and I was completely disconnected.

There was a minor panic.

To say nothing of going to the special hell that is Warringah Mall on a Saturday afternoon to replace the phone. Plus, what would it cost?

Anyway, my hair looks really nice. It’s a bit shorter.

I gritted my teeth and headed to the Mall. A darling young fellow sorted it in ten minutes (thanks Vodafone) and I now have a new phone at no cost. I’ve lost nine months of data but so what? I now have my real and imaginary friends back around me.

My response completely surprised me and made me think. How could I have felt so helpless without my phone?

There was a feeling of responsibility: nursing home can’t reach me, boss can’t reach me, family can’t reach me. (Yes, there are days when it goes in that order. After all, the kids usually know where I am.)

My need to feel needed was thwarted because noone could reach me. My need to reach out was rendered impossible.

Apparently I’m a cog in the modern engine.

I’m now connected, once again.