When I hung up I thought of my life before I created a profile of myself, spread it around the internet, and then obsessed over its management. I thought of my life before I tried out e-books, before I tweeted and liked and commented. Heck, I thought of my life before I had a cell phone. I came to the cell phone late, when I was between my first and second year of graduate school, and I remember thinking then that it was a good thing I'd held off as long as I had; brain cancer would infect me late in life, if at all.
That summer, the summer between my first and second year of graduate school, I sat under a tree and read Huckleberry Finn. I read it all day long. I'd skipped reading it in junior year of high school, thinking it wasn't necessary. That summer in Indiana I realized it was necessary, I needed to read Huckleberry Finn. Huckleberry Finn was awesome. This book is great, I remember thinking, and I remember now some other things: how fine the weather was then, not humid as people had been warning me, but warm and mild, like California spring at dusk; the feel of the pages between my fingers, the heft of the paperback edition; the near-complete lack of worry about what others were up to, it was only me, and I didn't need anyone to know what I was doing here.
I no longer believe I need to make so much available to so many. I'll still tweet. I'm still on Facebook. My website is not going down. I may even post to this blog again some day. But I want to get back to that tree. I may not find it, but it's time to try.