06/16/2015 03:35 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

The iPhone Graveyard

There's a Balinese song on loop/repeat at the dining area of our modest, Sanur Beach hotel. It could be the soundtrack for an insane asylum. Frantic wooden flutes and vibraphones, playing a hectic, repetitive pattern. Ah, a moment of silence between jams. We have returned to Bali sooner than expected. I was invited to sing at the 14th International Bali Roundup. It's a chance to be of service, so we decided to go for it. Plus, it's a rare opportunity to sing in paradise.

Our journey to Indonesia had it's up's & downs. I left my phone in the Brisbane airport terminal during a tolerable stop-over. This is not a life & death occurrence, but my reaction to it after about eighteen hours of travel, was less than graceful. I really wish our world was free from terrorism. For so many reasons. Nowadays, you can not disembark your plane. Once you check in, it's stay put or forfeit your flight. I'm generally a big fan of Virgin Airlines (in this case Virgin Australia), but when a flight attendant talks to you like you are a potential terrorist, the fan meter lessens. Back in the day, my emotions were unbridled. That which makes me a heartfelt singer, makes me a ball of unwanted sensitivities, tears, and emotional energies. I have a dim memory of forgetting my passport on a security belt in the UK. Already locked on board an Aer Lingus puddle jumper, I recall knocking on the airplane window in a crazed "get me outta here!!" escape attempt. My poor friends, Irish & well-behaved, were writhing with embarrassment. How I didn't land myself in the airport security slammer, I will never know. So this time, when the Virgin Australia attendant demanded I bring it down a few notches, I realized there was an excellent chance that they'd boot me off the plane if I didn't cooperate. Ah the wisdom of age. I confess, I did have fantastical thoughts of tearing out the plane entrance tube to retrieve and rescue my poor abandoned iPhone. That little piece of technology makes traveling so convenient. I was having a flash of tech withdrawals. "How will I navigate around a foreign country?" "What about my voice exercise mp3's?" "All the hotel reservations are on there!" "Oh, the photo ops I'll miss!" "Man, what's a replacement going to cost". All that panicked thinking firing off in about 10 milliseconds. Survivalist thinking as it were. Reality - I wasn't traveling alone. I could easily use my girlfriend's iPhone for all of the above. But the mind, or this mind, just doesn't work like that. Especially two-thirds into a twenty-four-hour journey.

In the end, Virgin came through. Perhaps the nagging & crying worked? Someone on staff walked over to the bar where I left it. My lonely 5s is now on her way to France! A near escape from the iPhone graveyard, found in every airport, in every city. It was a happy ending for all.


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