Lady on the phone:  Can you tell me your phone number?
Me: 4-1-6-5-6…

It is amazing how the ten digit of my phone number becomes who I am.  For the past few weeks as I am winding down to go to Singapore, I had to contact the National Student Loan to pay off my loan.  Every time I called them, they need my phone number to verify that I am Cliff Tam.

The ten digits roll off my tongue.  It is Cliff Tam.  In the system, in the society, in my friend’s smart phone.

416-564-0626 = Cliff Tam

Since I will be going to Singapore for two years, there is no need for me to keep my phone number.  In the calendar, I already jotted the date when I will call my phone company to cancel my plan.  It will be next Sat. October 29th.

There’s one week left.

One week afterwards, this set of numbers will no longer become my identity.  

In a big and small way, I am losing surrendering a part of myself.

As I post pieces of my stuff online to sale and meeting up with potential buyers, things I once treasure I no longer have.

As I sell and give my books in my shelves, I hope that they will simulate the minds of the next reader as they have encourage me.

And 416-564-0626.  In the future when one of my friends call that number expecting me, it will be someone else.

And soon I have no phone number.

It’s funny how I worry about how will people contact me. How lost I would feel.

Funny how ten digits can be so personal.  It doesn’t matter.  When I am in Singapore, I will have a new set of digits. A new identity.

Me: ...4-0-6-2-6

Lady on the phone: (after a brief pause) Hi, Mr Tam.  How can I help you today?

If you have my phone number, please don’t call or text after the October 29th. I am sure the person who receive my number will be grateful for this. Thanks!

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