iphone be gone

yesterday, tuesday, 4pm, the early hours of halloween, i found myself stumped,

due to my lack of focus.

it all started when i had hauled all my teaching gear to my crossover vehicle.

– well, the reading manual, so that i could figure out my next plan for the students, and a big fat AVID book, where i would find info to help me conduct a productive note-taking lesson with the kids –

anyway… i put those two texts onto the back floor of my car,

along with my white jansport backpack, a round fluffy Rugrat (Tommy specific) knapsack, the one i recently reclaimed, one that once belonged roberto, long ago, when he was a rugrat himself, and next to my macbook air,

i’m floundering, unfocused…

this is about my iphone; not my afterwork, parking lot life.

well, actually, the parking lot plays a big role here.

before i sat in the driver’s seat, i realized my phone wasn’t with me.

which, honestly, it isn’t unusual that i didn’t have it because i really don’t carry it with me much… whereby on the other hand, it’s actually amazing that i even noticed i had forgotten it… because i really don’t carry it with me much.

you get what i mean?

well now, after noticing the missing phone, i trekked back to classroom, hunted around for it, but couldn’t find anything remotely resembling my 2 1/2 year old white iphone.


i walked back to the car, sifted through my stuff, again, only to note that the phone was definitely not there.

once again, i unlocked both gates, walked back to class, lifted every paper and book, and found nothing except more papers and books. i stood there, near my desk and wondered.


and then i remembered that i had been cutting artwork out to hang up in the window so that the sun’s shine made the oily bones of the kids finger prints glow – which was actually pretty cool, a fun project for sure…

i was cutting the hand shapes, letting the fallen pieces of paper gather on top of my desk and when done i threw the paper in the trash.

no! i thought. no way. i did not throw my iphone away.

did i?

back at the car, i texted brad from my computer – thank goodness the internet was available out in the parking lot – then i walked to the trash can.

this is what i texted him, literally:

can you call my phone… i can’t find it… call a few times… i am outside by the trash then i need to go in the class…. keep calling until i answer it… if i call you good… if i don’t bad… i will message on my computer if i can’t find it… or my phone if i do…

he messaged back, OK.

i lifted out what i knew was my plastic bag of debris. the sprinkles of colored paper gave it away. then i walked back towards my vehicle and i placed the trash bag into the back of my car thinking that maybe i was overlooking the phone. something told me i was on the right track, but my thinking wasn’t concise. so, i decided i’d take the trash home and investigate there, just in case. i surely didn’t want to make a mess right there, at my place of employment.

that’d look odd. right?

seriously, though, no regrets.

that’s my motto, you see.

i heard no Old Phone ringing.

in the meantime, i assumed brad was continuously calling me because i hadn’t called or texted him back.

i walked back to class.


i walked back to the car.


opened the rover’s hatchback.

rifled through the bag of papers.

and then i heard it. ever so faint. my phone, ringing. coming from the trash bag. i stuck my hand inside. swirled it around. and found ‘the missing link’.


i answered brad’s call as i was walking the semi-heavy ladened trash to the large receptacle in the school’s parking lot.



The day before Rudy began driving home from Arkansas, I began wondering how his allergies were going to adapt to the two cats that have been living in our house for the past year. Just as I pulled into my work site’s parking lot, I received a picture of a mostly white, medium-sized dog from Roberto. Random dog inside our house, he texted. I knew immediately that the dog had slipped under our garage door, through the ten inch opening meant as a convenience for the cats’ comings and going.

Before the dog entered the kitchen, Brad had been sitting on the couch listening to an audio book, in preparation for a test that morning in class. He heard an unfamiliar clicking sound, turned to look what was causing the noise, and saw the dog standing there, eye-balling him. Brad jumped up and sprinted into Roberto’s room whisper-yelling, There’s a dog out there! As both boys stood cautiously back, wondering what to do, the dog gently walked over to them, rubbing his nose in Roberto’s hand. He immediately looked for tags, or any other kind of identification, but found none. After Brad had gone to school, Roberto took the dog to PetCo to see if an identification chip had been implanted, to find out who owned the dog. No such luck. A sales clerk gave the dog a bag of goodies: food, a leash, and some treats.

Later, when I returned home from work, the dog was in the backyard alone, relaxing. With no information about the dog, I knew he would be spending the night with us, and possibly days ahead. Hey, how is the dog?, Roberto texted. He’s quiet. He likes company… and you should give him a name, just so we can call him something other than dog, I texted back. It didn’t take him long to respond. Nelson. As in Willie Nelson, he wrote. That night, Nelson slept with Roberto, in his bed. Nelson never did bother the cats. He had a healthy appetite and drank plenty of water; yet, he was breathing heavy, was very tired, seemingly lazy, and mostly, Nelson seemed sad. Also, the small circular gash, as if he was poked with some kind of skewer in his leg, didn’t help.

As I was cooing to him and petting his smooth white fur, I contemplated Rudy’s arrival within the next twenty-four hours. I wondered how his allergies were going to respond to Nelson.

The next day, Nelson was limping, and constantly licking his injury. And by this time Rudy was home, enjoying everything he missed while living in Arkansas. I had to forewarn him that yes, there is a dog at our house, but no, we will not be keeping him. I was going to find his owners, to bring back the spark of life into Nelson’s demeanor. Happily, as the day wore on, as I was returning from picking up Brad from the local skate park, we noticed a Lost Dog flyer. On it was a picture of Nelson. Yet, the three times I called the number listed, I was told that he was not missing a dog. Nelson, once again, slept with Roberto. Rudy patiently accepted the situation.

Early, the next morning, while Brad was having his baseball picture taken, I took the flyer to a few nearby homes, asking people if they recognized Nelson. No one did. Forty-five minutes into my adventure, a man was climbing into his car when I hollered, Do you know who this dog belongs to? He pointed to a house up the street from his, and stated that the elderly couple was going to be so happy to have their dog home.

I knocked on the front door, and was greeted by a woman, possibly my age, being followed by a lady I assumed to be her mom. I held up my phone, showing them the picture of Nelson and asked if the dog belonged to them. The older woman raised her arms, excited, claiming the dog. Tosh! That’s my Tosh. His brother, Mac, who is blind and deaf, has been missing him. She pulled me into her house and introduced me to Mac. Mac and Tosh, I said, grinning. That’s cute. He looked like Tosh, except for his eyes. Tosh helps Mac. He guides him, makes sure he is safe, she said, happily. Then she hugged me, and introduced me to her wheelchair-bound husband.

I held up the photo once again and asked if the phone number listed was theirs. She said yes without really looking at it. I explained that I had been trying to call. Then she looked one more time, and realized the number was incorrect. How did you find us then? the younger woman asked. I told them my story. Then, even though I offered to bring Tosh back to their place, the elderly woman jumped into her own car and said, No. I will come and get him myself. Then she gunned the engine.

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