A man, named George, left for work, as usual, at 7 am. He locked his house. Usual. He got into his car. Usual. He arrived at work – same as usual. When he reached into his pocket for his phone and didn’t find it – unusual.

At first, panic set in. Thoughts screamed through his head – how will he work without it? How will he survive a day without it? What will he use when he has to go to a bathroom to entertain himself?

All he had were questions and no answers.

So, for the first time in his life he did something he’s never done before – he left work after 10 minutes of his arrival.

As George stepped outside, he had to cover his eyes to shield them from the harsh sunlight. He never realized how bright the sun was in mid-morning. 

Colors hurt his eyes  and noises hurt his ears. Sounds he never paid attention to before like a dog barking or pretzel man shouting made his head ache. 

It was surreal and bizarre at the same time.

George felt lost. 

He reached into his pocket for his phone to hold something safe in the chaos of life, only to realize he didn’t have it.

With a sigh, he headed to the busy crosswalk at the Times square.

All around him, people walked with their heads buried in their phones like zombies and it hurt George to watch them. He wished he could be one of them. He wished it so badly it made him feel physically ill – a phantom pain in his left hand and left thumb that would not go away.

As he stopped at the crosswalk to wait for the green light, he saw a young woman step off the curb without looking–other than looking at her phone that is–unaware of the speeding taxi heading toward her at lightning speed.

George knew in that instant that he was the only one who saw this and without any hesitation he jumped and yanked her back before she could take more than two steps.

He was a hero. An unsung hero.

He reached for his phone again to take a selfie with the girl but realized he didn’t have it.

With a sigh, he crossed the intersection, thinking what to do next.

That’s when he saw dogs–dozens without a leash, barreling down the street like feral bulls, heading to a group of nuns who had their heads buried in their phones. Unaware!

George had a split second to decide what to do–he jumped to the construction site (there are always a few at every corner in NY) and grabbed a long signpost–one that warns people not to enter so they won’t fall to their death–and like a knight he rushed the dogs with the signpost thrust ahead of him.

The dogs never saw anything like that and they did the only logical things a pack of dogs can do–they came to a sudden halt, turned on their heels and ran away yapping.

George smiled as he watched the nuns walk by without an inkling as to how they were just saved.

And this time he didn’t bother to reach for his phone.