by Daniel Montero
Going through some old things tonight I came across the phone pictured above and was reminded of how it wandered into our lives.
Bicycling along an apparently endless Arizona highway with just a bit of an uncomfortably narrow shoulder and way too much heavy traffic through a cacti-forested rolling countryside did not make for a day of idle landscape appreciation. But one of my favorite things about riding a bike is that it speeds us beyond the limits of our body, but slows us to a manageable speed. Fast enough to feel movement; slow enough to be in the world. One of my ways of being in the world on a bike, especially on a busy highway, is to look at what is discarded or lost in the reckless pursuit of the future and headlong flight from the past that is such a great part of modern human existence. Odd things, banal things, disgusting things, precious things, they all find themselves lost along the concrete ribbons that tie, some might say bind, most lives into intricate bows and byzantine knots. Roads crash lives of strangers violently into one another on occasion and carry some people away from all they have loved. And a zillion things in between. So it was with some triumph that I spotted the little leather lump that became, once I'd recognized it as something worth a second look, the phone pictured above. Its power was nearly dead and service gone, but there was a message open, in Spanish, something to the effect of, “she knows!” And then the phone ended up here, alongside the road, I imagine as the revenge of the one who learned, or an act of the contrition of one of those who did the thing of which knowledge was news. Or something else. But it ended up here, along a highway, in the company of the fringes. Rubbish. Litter. Or the things we find.
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