Over the weekend, as I was making plans with friends, one of them asked me to call. The idea was momentarily terrifying. I agreed. Then thought about it the rest of the evening and the following morning. As noon approached and I knew I had to make the call, I began agonizing.
I realized how bad my aversion to the phone had gotten. Having had my phone calls and all activity monitored for years I avoided all conflict by simply no longer using the phone. I would only call “safe” numbers, meaning immediate family. At one point even Tanya had become off limits. I resorted to texts, emails, Facebook messenger, and all other untraceable modes of communication. I knew I had grown to dislike using the phone because of the potential for a fight, but had it really gotten this bad?
I stared at my little pink phone, and made the call. As the phone rang on the other end it all dawned on me. I can use the phone. No, not just physically. But, I can use the phone. Really use it. And there is no one monitoring my calls anymore. No one to question the numbers. No one to track my minutes. I don’t have to justify anything anymore. It was unbelievably liberating.
The call went to voicemail, and my first real call in years only lasted a few seconds. But that is not the point.
I do have to admit, I felt clumsy as I left the message. Almost as if didn’t know what to do. The only messages I had left for years were to my parents, and usually having to do with when I would be stopping by next. I was doing something I hadn’t done in a while, and I was a bit shaky. And I am not referring to calling places to make an appointment, or utilitarian type calls. I am solely referring to personal/social calls. I felt weird. Almost uncomfortable.
But I liked it.