If You're With Me, Leave Your Cell Behind

If You're With Me, Leave Your Cell Behind

FRIENDS: How many of us have them?

Supernaturally connecting the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.
Artistically canvasing layers of colors that hide childhood secrets, adult fears and interim magic. Like the first time you felt like you weren’t alone. That one time in band camp where you confessed your insecurities over lemonade and sugar cookies.

Friendship is the relationship that defines all relationships.

As a child, I thought friendship was an eternal bond sealed with pinky swears and knitted bracelets. Underdeveloped wisdom, breasts, and judgment made it seem so innocent. We trusted each other with our lives among playground bullies, aggressive boys and puberty.

Friendship seemed so easy.

Now, 30 years wiser, my friends and I gather in collective former Speakeasies with flowing libations and off-putting music. No membership needed for these clubs. No secrets being told in these clubs. Just suppression, airbrushed realities and smiles.

Glued to our electronic devices, we send proof of good lives across airwaves for others to see and respond to. We are not present. We are happy to stop having “fun” in order to capture that moment on film or video to post on our wall of identity for the slightly interested to judge. We are not present. We are not living. We are taking snapshots and becoming directors of what we wish living looked like. What we wished living felt like.

Me? I have a no-cell phone policy among my chosen family. If you are attached to your phone long enough for me to exit stage left without you noticing… that is exactly what I will do. Why gather? Why build? If it is more important to you to design your reputation rather than share your character in the moment over old school dances, conversation and mutual love – we can’t be friends.

My time is limited and I prefer to spend it with people I can reveal my layers of childhood secrets, adult fears, and interim magic with… and to offer reciprocity.

Too many of us have allowed technology, egos and unhealed pain to taint the innocence of friendship. I’m putting my foot down. I’m going back to the sorrow I felt when the street lights came on; because despite that hours had passed, it always seemed like my friends and I had only been together mere seconds. That’s what love feels like.

That’s what friendship feels like: Supernaturally connecting to the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of a person. Easy.

So my dear friends, when we gather, please leave your cell phones, laptops, and tablets in the car. They won’t be needed. We’ll be too busy enjoying each other’s friendship and being present.

Camille LaRay is a writer, editor and production artist with a passion for translating the deeper elements of life into enjoyable, memorable reading and viewing experiences. Follow Camille LaRay on Twitter @LolaLaRay

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