Cell phones. Ever notice how the entire vocabulary we use for these now indispensable gizmos is evocative of prisons? Am I the only one to have noticed this? First off it’s a cell phone. Some are bigger than others, some smaller. But however many inches it measures, it’s still a cell. And then how do we calibrate the cell’s strength? By counting bars. Yup, bars. And guess what? The more bars your cell has, the better. One last irony: we never want to be out of reach of the cell tower, that giant metal structure able to pinpoint our location at all times. Cell, bars, tower. I feel like I’m channelling George Carlin here.

So yesterday I left home without it, plain forgot it. Boy did it feel good! After a moment of panic, the oversight felt downright liberating. No one could reach me. And phoneless, I was freed from trying to fit in a call or two, freed from multitasking and remembering who else I had to get in touch with. No emergencies awaited me when I got home. No one had left frantic messages that they were trying to reach me. In fact, no one had called the entire day. Far from feeling unwanted, I was quite happy that all those in my orbit, both near and far, were off doing their own things.

Today’s a different story. I made sure to slip it into my yoga bag. As I walked home from class, it was nice to catch up and chat with my dad. I made a call I’d forgotten to make the day before. No forgetting today. The cell phone is back in my purse, fully charged. With seven bars of power and eight bars of cell tower strength, I’m just busting to go.