A few nights ago, I noticed an alert on the Settings icon of my iPhone, telling me I was due for a software update.  Giving it no further thought, I allowed it to take place.

The following morning, driving to my first appointment, I pulled the phone from my bag and saw Jaromir Jagr’s smirking face looking up at me from the screen and – THEN NOTHING!  The phone went black.  Was it something I did?  (Was it something he did?)  Several things clouded my mind at once.  I picked the logical choice and pulled off the road.

Turning off the ignition, I opened the door, to get my head between my knees without hitting it on the steering wheel.  When the nausea subsided, I powered  down my cell phone.  Stupid, I know, since it had no power, and then powered it back up.  Maybe someone on Facebook would know what to do!  I’ve never been one to post pictures of every millisecond of my life (because no one cares) to say “Look at me! I’ve matched my own outfit today and figured out where to pour the water in the coffee pot!”  Oh wait, I can’t, no phone.

I think about calling my husband.  At very least, he’d buy me another phone.  Call him with what?  Are there even pay phones anymore?  Where are they, and how much do they cost now, $5.00?

I hit the phone against the dashboard.  A good jolt normally does wonders for my laptop.  My cell phone is still dead.

I’m sweating and starting to hyperventilate.  I turn the car’s air conditioner back on, but it doesn’t seem to help.  Can’t I live without my cell phone?  Suddenly the what-if’s bombard me.  What if I have an accident, get lost (I’m blonde), see and alien, get abducted by an alien, get abducted by a human?

Am I addicted to my cell phone or just attached?

I know where I have to go.  The thought makes me swallow the vomit in my throat.  Pulling back into traffic, I can hear the harsh sounds of honking horns while middle fingers fly.  Follow, follow, follow, I will, the gray potholed road, to the Apple Store, and wait till my next birthday for an audience with a ‘Genius’.

For those of you who haven’t been honored, Geniuses are highly trained Apple employees who use in-door voices while asking questions graduates of MIT would struggle with.  Then, if you’re lucky, they’ll hook your device to life support and perform a miracle.  Worse case scenario, they’ll whisk it away to the back where not even immediate family is invited.

As I drive, the label no longer matters, addicted or attached.  I wanted my phone back.  I want to know who followed me on Twitter, the second they do.  I want to check my mail in case an agent or publisher desperately has to work with me – or my dog’s vet needs to change his appointment.  I don’t post pictures on Facebook, but I like to look at them.  I need to know what’s going on with my Florida Panthers and the entire NHL – even in the middle of summer. I love the Word of the Day, although most I can’t pronounce and will never use in a sentence.  And my calculator! How am I to figure out a proper tip without it?

I’m almost there when I hear a ping, then another.  I glance at my phone and see Jaromir Jagr’s face with 4 missed calls at one hand and 21 new pieces of mail by his other.  Making a U-turn, I call my first appointment and say I’m on my way.  I pull into Dunkin Donuts and order a large coffee – to feed my real addiction.

If you think you may be addicted to your cell phone, check out an interesting blog I found by Ira Hyman, Ph.D.

Have a comment?  Let me hear from you!

If you’re looking for a way to stay off your phone, read my romantic suspense novel, ABSOLUTE RECALL.

AS ALWAYS        FROM THE POINT                 Lori Flynn