"Sometimes I fear that I dress really strangely," Laura Hillenbrand says. "Or maybe I don't speak normally, because language changes while I'm away."
Sometimes something will happen; she will walk into a CVS after years of not walking anywhere beyond the 1,500 square feet of her butter-yellow Glover Park rowhouse, and she will discover that automated registers have replaced human cashiers in the checkout lanes. She is, if she's being completely honest, still not entirely sure what a BlackBerry is. The technology invented for a mobile life is not necessary when your life is not mobile. "I've used a cellphone exactly twice," Hillenbrand, 43, says. "Things move on. The world changes. And I don't know it."