where the writers are
The phone and the persimmon tree

Back from Utah, we foraged for fruit on the deserted campus: olives in a small grove, grapefruit down the block, rotting on the ground, lemons across the street, persimmons behind the bookstore, out of reach, even with the fruit-picker. A few tourists. We walked home via a pomegranate.

Unpacked the loot on the kitchen counter...and my daughter, visiting, realized she had lost her smart phone. Retraced our footsteps from grapefruit bush (where she'd snapped a picture) to citrus tree to persimmon: no phone. Her brother on the phone suggested she use our phone to walk around calling her phone. Which we did. It was dark now. Her phone rang on our phone but didn't answer. Didn't light up. Maybe it was face down. If someone found it, why don't they pick up? Phone beginning to feel like a lost child. 

Last stop, the persimmon tree. Bookstore closed. No one around, only three gangster-raccoons, who stared us down, then climbed the persimmon tree to the out-of-reach fruit. We watched them. So human, so like us with their little hands reaching for the fruit. No sign of the phone among the squashed fruit, damp leaves, grass, where my daughter had pitched a citrus up into the branches a few times earlier, hoping to knock a persimmon loose (it would have splattered on the ground, like the one the raccoon dropped).

It rained all night. It kept me awake, the thought of the phone ringing, waiting for us to find it.

Next morning. Go to the bookstore, I said. If I found it, that's where I'd take it. She called the bookstore. They had a phone. She called their phone from our phone; the phone in the bookstore cheeped. She went to collect her phone. Someone had found it "under a tree."