It’s not impossible. More often than not, it’s within reach. The slim gray rectangle capable of so much hardly does whats it’s named for anymore, a phone call. Sure, I’m dictating text messages on it regularly and often reading internet articles and occasionally verifying traffic jams as Stockton and I sit on the beltway. Using the cell phone for phone calls is starting to feel kind of old-fashioned.
I have answered the phone at plenty of jobs. I’ll be the first to say I’m happy to take breaks. But even in personal relationships we are hanging up, sending a text is much more popular.
And yet, the past few weeks I’ve found myself doing the opposite, fielding phone calls. I’m sitting at my kitchen table talking to my aunt. Or I’m sprawled on the couch talking to a friend from California. Later on the same couch but a different friend, one who is at her kid’s soccer practice. Another day I’m standing over a simmering pot of soup at the stove listening to my cousin. Every time I hang up the phone I can’t believe how much time passed because to me, it flew by.
It’s an art to hold a conversation. The give and take of listening and telling. The meaning in pauses. The sound of a smile.
Granted, it’s not always a good time to chat. Sometimes I’m tired or not at home. But if I answer, lately there’s a good chance the “Do you have a minute?” will be answered with a yes.
Sure, texts and facebooks and instagram stories may keep you apprised of some news. A party may offer the chance to hurriedly chat about a few things that have been going on. But when you live a distance from a lot of the people you care about, sometimes a longer conversation comes due. A phone call may be the answer.
How do you stay connected? Tell me about it.