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  • I'm pedaling down Truman Avenue with a reasonable level of certainty--it's always this way when I'm in Key West; I have to find my riding legs again--when my phone tumbles onto the street. By the time I double back, it lies face down in the street, case thrown aside, its sleek black back seemingly unscathed.

    When I turn it over in my palm, I know it's gone: Screen cracked in a thousand places, unusable. My heart sinks.

    Losing your smart phone when you're working away from home-base, especially when your job is digital- and social media-based, is tantamount to a crisis. Lest the new phone arrive after I had left for home, I subbed it with a low tech replacement and set out on the semi-disconnected adventure of the next couple days.

    It was disconcerting not being able to access work email as it arrived. There were photos I needed to take and post online that I had to find a way to make happen. There were moments I wanted to capture and share. Video I missed. Frustrating bouts of sending texts without a touchscreen; those quickly became abbreviated; grammar sacrificed for shortcuts.

    But that Saturday when we went out on the water, drinks and sandwiches in the coolers, my phone tucked in the hold, I felt my shoulders relax, the expectations, the constant, the tenseness of being connected 24/7, eased. I enjoyed the ride instead of capturing it and calculating the best way to share it. If texts or emails or calls came in, it was OK to miss them. A day on the weekend was actually mine.

    The loss of my phone gave me a few days and a compelling break from being so constantly beholden. When FedEx delivered it the morning after my return home, I accepted the package with relief and sadness, knowing I'd have to find ways to tuck it in the hold again and seize the day, location unknown.
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