I’ve always preferred personal contact rather than text messages. Even in class, while many kids traded elaborate “notes”, I wanted to talk. This is not to say I didn’t pass notes in class. I did. We live in a world dominated by texts and DM’s. It’s become too easy. Relationships are too convenient at times. I would rather grab a coffee and talk to you. I drive my street “bestie” nuts by calling her on Facetime every day and bugging her. I Facetime my nieces and nephews, along with Ana. Eye connection and facial expressions are entry ways to something more meaningful.
My phone allows me instant access to a few thousand contacts. Some people are kept there so I can hit “ignore.” Don’t judge. You do it too. There is no secret that I’ve experienced loss. We all have. I am not special. As I scroll through my contacts, I’m reminded of friends and family who have passed on to another dimension. None of them have been deleted. NOT. ONE.
Jacob’s phone is still active. There are NO PLANS to change this. I still call his number at times. I still send him DM’s when I’m really sad. I am sure my therapist (much love JS) and I could talk about this one day. We could delve into the human condition and learn what makes me “hold tight” while the rest of my world slips deeper and deeper into a desperate world of regret. No need. At least not yet. Jacob’s tooth brush still sits in the same place as it was when he last used it. I am in no rush to press delete.
I continue to scroll through, and I see my old friend Chuck B. He’s listed in my phone under Marv B, a throwback to our youth. We were young and care free. Marv died in his 40’s after battling demons that were too much to overcome. It was a sad ending to a kid who spent his childhood riding BMX and skateboards. He is a reminder of how hard I worked to overcome alcohol, one day at a time. We weren’t great friends in adulthood. I last saw him a couple weeks before he left town for good. I said the same the thing to him. “Love you bro. This isn’t sustainable.” I will not delete.
I see Jackie’s name and her sweet face. I see Maxine. I scroll forward and back to see precious souls of those I will not delete from my contacts. Why? They are there, almost as pictures, to remind me of a funny anecdote or a warm embrace. Seeing these names is helpful to remind me that, while they may not answer, they aren’t too far away either. I sure hope it’s not because I’m sitting in waiting for my friends’ return.
The last name in my phone is Howard Zucker. We became close pals in 2004, when I made the best decision of my life. Howard was there every step of the way with me, and is so badly missed. When I see his name pop up, on the rare occasion I’m searching “Z” names, I am reminded to slow down and breathe. Howard had a way to get me to reset while chaos surrounded me. I can hear his tender voice. I will not delete.
The purpose is not to dwell, nor is it an effort to remain in my own purgatory. Leaving Jacob’s toothbrush in its place isn’t hurting anyone. Refusing to “delete” my contacts is my way of taking my moments when I need them. I will not delete.