The Terror of Being Disconnected

Today, K and I decided to take one car since we were both getting off work super late. Bad decision. Super bad decision, especially when my cell phone became completely drained of battery by 8pm. When I got out of work a bit earlier than planned at 9 50PM I was faced with an utter dilemma.

Nothing in the surrounding area was still open. It was quiet, and dark. K and I had originally agreed on 10 30 PM. Should I wait? Or should I walk the 20+ minute walk unguided by phone to where he was located and attempt to find him? I stood around awkwardly, two voices battling each other in my head. I had 40 minutes to kill with absolutely nothing to distract myself. Who knew if he would get off work successfully at 10 30PM anyways?

Therefore, I walked. Dark, secluded, quiet. I crossed several traffic intersections, feeling my way for the general direction. I hit El Camino Real, and then all of a sudden the sidewalk veered off into this remote open plain dotted with trees. There a thick barbed wire fence that separated me from the road, and all was eerily quite. I walk quickly, key in hand as my only weapon. Crunch. I stepped on a leaf, and my heart jumped a little. There I was, backpacker of ghetto locations across Asia, but anxious in a relatively safe and affluent town in the Bay Area. To be fair, I was not only completely disconnected from the world, I was decked out in polished professional (and restricting) work clothes, work shoes, carrying an expensive professional bag, along with an open Express shopping back from some lunch-time pickups. Not the best getup to be in if anything were to come up. But still. I shrugged off my anxiety and slowed down my steps a little, taking in the crisp night air. It shouldn’t be too bad, I thought.

All of a sudden, bike wheels come full speed from behind, breaking all peace and quiet. Out of instinct, I jump to the side and turn to face them full frontal, whipping out my phone and pretending to be speaking to someone. Out of nowhere – 2 hooded men on their bikes slowing down, eyes focused straight on me. I intensify my grip on the sharp end of my keys. They exchange glances, and one of them mutters something, and they speed up past me… and disappear into the night.

Phew. My hands shook as I put my useless phone back into my bag. I attempted to climb over the fence to be closer to the main road, but soon realized there was an exit not too far off.

15 minutes later, I make it through a tunnel and arrive at my destination. To my dismay – I am able to see him, but also his coworkers and managers busy with work. Not wanting to disturb him, I decide to wait. 10:30….10:40…10:50. Uh Oh. Seems like they aren’t done yet. I decide to cease my awkward creeper activity outside and find solace in a local cafe.

….Until 10 minutes later they closed for the night and I was once more on the sidewalk, disconnected with the world, and cold.

When my boyfriend finally walked out of those doors and gathered me up in his arms, I realized just how miserable I would be without technology – my phone, my laptop, my car, and just how addicted we are as a society.

Intense night.

M

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