My office phone is blinking at me again.

There’s a little red light, and a green one. I don’t know how to make them stop, because I still haven’t fully figured out this new phone system we have at the Daily Journal world headquarters.

Not that new, really. It was installed a few months ago, or maybe it’s been a year. Who knows. Time is but a construct proffering the illusion that we’re moving along a linear path.

I’m not sure that last sentence makes any sense, which could just be a result of my insecurities. I’m never confident in proclaiming a supposed truth, because I can always anticipate the counterargument, and nobody likes to be proved wrong.

That’s part of what has turned our political landscape so toxic. All the yelling and finger-pointing accomplishes nothing. You’re not changing anyone’s mind with your melodramatic Facebook posts about Donald Trump or Nancy Pelosi or whomever. You’re merely proclaiming your own (alleged) political acumen.

But I hate talking politics, and I despise most politicians regardless of party, so let’s move on.

Because that phone is still blinking at me, reminding me that there are some things I don’t yet have figured out. I don’t even know how to check my voicemail on the darn thing. But, if it’s really important, then that person probably has my cell number and will hit me up that way.

There is also a name and number scrolling across the screen on my fancy new office phone. I don’t recognize either one, so I guess they’ll just have to call back.

The unfamiliar, no matter how small or innocuous, usually gives me pause. It’s why I screen my calls. Talking on the phone is not my favorite activity, especially if it’s a stranger. There are certain people with whom I don’t mind talking on the phone, but otherwise, I’m a big texter.

Thank heaven for cell phones and the advent of texting. Makes it a lot easier for anxious people like myself to survive in this world.

All that said, I spent nearly five hours on the phone with someone the other night. We’d met just a few days before but were immediately taken with each other, and the talking came easy for me.

Anyone who knows me is well aware that I’m not a talker. And certainly, this lovely woman talked much more than I did, but that didn’t mean it was a one-sided conversation.

Still, this development is a little intimidating. I’m entering an unfamiliar place. Married for 20 years, suddenly single, and now someone who is clearly out of my league has shown an interest in me.

One thing I’m learning, though, is to not be so frightened of the unfamiliar or unknown. What will happen will happen, and I need to learn to enjoy the ride, wherever it leads.

It would a mistake for me to place expectations upon myself or upon my new friend. It would be a mistake to assume I know how or where this relationship – or any relationship – will go. It would be a mistake to try and convince myself that my future is set in stone, for good or bad.

And Lord knows I’ve convinced myself at times that my future is bleak and will remain so. I like to think I’m wrong, that I can figure some things out.

But those stupid lights are still blinking at me.

BRAD LOCKE is senior sports writer for the Daily Journal. Contact him on Twitter @bradlocke or via email at

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