I hadn’t heard from Anthony for three or four days. I had tried to reach him but just got his voice mail. Worried that something might have happened to him, I wandered down to 19th and M on Tuesday morning.
Leaning up against the brightly colored newspaper boxes that anchor the corner there, Anthony was talking with a parking enforcement employee. “You are just the person that I need to see my friend,” he belted out when I dropped my backpack on the curb next to his own bag.
It turns out four days earlier Anthony accidentally dropped his phone into a toilet. “Oh man…it’s dead. I tried everything,” he said more animated than normal. “I even let it sit in a bag of rice overnight like they say to do and all, but nothing.”
He took me into the lobby of the Wells Fargo bank that is in front of his corner. Plugged into an outlet inside the bank was Anthony’s phone. “They keyboard lights up and all but that’s it,” he said shoving the phone into my hands.
I have to be honest, I couldn’t stop wondering whether the toilet was empty or full when the phone fell in. I know that’s kind of gross…but that’s what ran across my mind as I held his broken piece of equipment.
“Reed, I need your help. I need a new phone.”
We walked over to Radio Shack and after a lengthy study of all the plans and all the available phones, he choose a Virgin Mobile prepaid phone with a $30/month unlimited calls and texts plan. I bought him the phone and one month’s worth of service thanks to the kind donations I have received from you. I wouldn’t be able to help him the way I do without your generosity.
Today he’s back at his corner and in touch with the world again. It’s amazing how much phones have become a part of our lives. Just a few days without his was driving him crazy! Kind of reminds me of something I heard recently: Life is what happens when your cell phone is charging – or perhaps the toilet!