Losing My Phone Brought Me Peace

An unexpected surprise.

Ryan Redmond


Photo by author

Phone, wallet, keys.

It’s the three essential items I double check I have every time I leave the house.

We all do. Adam Sandler even wrote a song about it.

It’s all one really needs to survive the day.

For me however, there’s also a slew of other random items I pack with my bag before heading out, such as:

  1. A book to read on the bus.
  2. A portable phone charger because I’ll use up my battery scrolling social media instead of reading the book.
  3. A pen.
  4. Another pen because I lost the other one.
  5. Mints. Because it seems everyone is in need of a mint, and I never want to be the person someone says not subtly to, “Do you need a mint?”
  6. Small notebook. This is meant to be a journal for thoughts, but it is better used for tearing out a piece of paper to make a grocery list.
  7. Sunglasses. A cheap pair because I will lose it along with my pens.
  8. Headphones. Not wireless ear buds. Wired because I want people to notice that I’m wearing headphones so they don’t attempt to talk to me.
  9. Lint roller. I have carried this with me for years in hopes of one day coming to someone’s rescue who is desperately in need of removing pet hair, but I have yet to be that hero.
  10. A receipt from last week because I wanted to remember the bartender’s name who made my drinks extra strong.

It’s a lot to carry, but as long as I have the basic three, I don’t worry.

Because losing any of those three essentials would leave me in a state of anxiety and tremendous grief.

My keys! I’m locked out forever!

My wallet! I’ll have to cancel cards! Even worse, I’ll have to go to the DMV to get a new license!

My phone! My precious phone! How does one even get around in this world without a fucking phone? I’m stranded here at Trader Joe’s for the rest of my life!

That is how I normally thought.