I look at my phone and I still don’t know how to answer it. What can I do? My thoughts flit, again, to going back there and just asking. “I am one who needs guidance,” I might acknowledge ruefully, and then launch into my problem: when the phone rings, I touch the little green emblem and nothing happens. I can’t answer. “I’m sure it’s me,” I’ll tell them, meaning that I’ve caused the mess. Maybe I have to set up my mailbox, and then the phone will take calls. Why would that be? I don’t know. But it seems like something that would happen to me. I’d skirt doing some standard-op procedure that everyone else knows about, and then everything that befell me would be no good. For example, I’d have my new cell phone and I wouldn’t be able to answer calls.
I can set up my mailbox. Maybe. On the other hand, I’m cursed. Maybe I should go see them. Lay my problem on the counter and say, “Look, there it is. That’s what’s wrong. Guide me.”
All right, first there’s a problem. Most people know where they bought their cell phone. I just know I bought mine downtown. One mall, another mall—I’m not sure. There’s the store a friend recommended, but I remember going down there and finding it closed. Most of the mall had died. Bank after bank of empty storefronts behind glass—one craned one’s head and looked at the levels rising up. I bought my phone at a different store.
In a different mall? I resist the idea. I’m weak, and my weakness comes out even in this matter. I want to skirt the idea that work will be necessary. I cling to the idea that this same dead mall, this cemetery city of retail, will be the only place I have to visit. Otherwise my thinky bone will risk pain. Overload will visit my mental chambers. If I have to plot a new course, my brain may spasm, and one avoids spasms, of course.
On the other hand, with all those dead storefronts, what are the odds that a kiosk with cell phones (or anything) is doing business there? For I did buy my phone at a kiosk; I remember my conversation with the young gentleman, and that it took place in a neighboring mall to the original. Not the original. Another mall nearby. I must review what malls are near the first.
There I let the matter hang. A day passes. Now it’s today. I look at my phone and I still don’t know how to answer it. I sit down to write out my problem. My mind lurches forward, a leap is made. Of course. The mall isn’t nearby. It’s two or three subway stops past the first one. The two malls are a pair, the biggest downtown, therefore my mind turned them into neighbors. My lazy spirit played that trick.
I look at Google Maps. Actually that first mall has a big one right next to it. I must regroup. I’ll try setting up my mail box. The phone tells you how to do that, right? Or maybe I could visit both malls, commit the time. I look at my phone and I still don’t know how to answer it.
—Follow C.T. May on Twitter: @CTMay3