Barry hated cell phones. He shuddered when trapped in a crowd, people yacking at maximum decibel, as if everyone within earshot was buzzed to hear about dysfunctional families or drunken golf outings. He detested camera phones, users blocking sidewalks, or rudely delaying meals to photograph the perfect tuna melt. He considered “selfies” an addiction for the self-obsessed. It saddened him when couples, heads tilted crotch-ward, abandoned human interaction in favor of text-talk. He’d scream “pay attention” at obtuse blockheads as they attempted to simultaneously type and walk.
But the biggest reason Barry hated them? They’d murdered his wife. Diana was headed downtown in her Toyota Prius when sixteen-year-old Becca Hughes, oblivious to the road while texting a friend, ran a stop sign and killed them both.
To add insult to injury, Barry learned of Diana’s demise via a cell phone. While he refused to own one, Barry’s publicist carried the newest Apple anything, which she handed him after he’d delivered a speech to the Missoula, Montana Rotary Club. “Barry, you need to take this, it’s your brother-in-law,” she said, her complexion as white as her iPhone 6. Standing in a dark corner of the Holiday Inn, the air reeking of moldy carpet and baked chicken, a sniffling voice informed him that the only woman he’d ever loved wouldn’t be picking him up at the airport in Portland tonight. Continue Reading »