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  • It could not have been there too long. Not even dusty.

    Did it belong to the middle aged woman watching the three kids (no family resemblance)? The guy sitting on the bench reading Fitzgerald? The jogger in the silly pink shorts? The toothy guy with the beat up guitar?

    Personal dilemma. The "do not get involved" reflex says to take the path of least resistance, "Just leave it- the person who lost it will return for it." The other shoulder says, "Do the right thing, find a contact phone number." And yet one more shoulder whispers, "I wonder what is on it?"

    Hmmm, it has some battery left (17%). There is no lock screen.

    The contacts list is short. Harry Benton. The Quadrophonics Shop. Maria Castilla. Hiroki Tanaka. AZD Plastics. Dr Gillingham. BTD Travel Agency. Nancy (just "Nancy", no phone number, just an email)

    What exactly would I say if I called?

    I need more information. And I am falling in deeper in curioisty, too deep to go back.

    The screen has all the default apps in the default places. Only one instant message from Janice. It reads, "I don't understand why you do the things you do... do not call me"

    The Facebook app? It is not logged in.

    Open the Map app. The last search was walking distance to "150 Capra Way" from "Cellar 360" - and that the 1.1 mile walk would take 22 minutes.

    The calendar entry for today said "11:30am Lunch with G, 900 North Point St" The next entry was 3 days out "10:59pm, SFO to NRT, Delta 617"

    How deep would I go? The last web page open was the BART schedule for the Richmond line. Nothing else. Hmmm, if I was really curious, I would go into the web history.

    All of this was dancing around the fact I had not dove into the obvious place to find information, email. But more so, a question. Where had I dropped off the quest of locating a contact for the owner and picked up a curious sense of mystery seeking to find out what this person was about?

    Somewhere amongst the rose petals and fallen oak leaves lay my morality, slowly twirling in the dust.

    (hey this is fiction! that's MY phone, I was curious what a story could do played out like this.)


    I am using Cowbird to share the story of a 15,000 mile road odyssey I took in 2011, which started with me quitting my job in March and setting out in June for a loop around the US and Canada. It's less of a day by day narrative and more of an attempt to tell a story of the story, with some amounts of imagined bits that emerge on looking at the media from the trip, including the more than 1400 images, videos, and audio files collected in my digital time capsule, the Storybox.


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