12/27/2013

Phoneless

Ever since that fateful morning when I woke up with no phone, or recollection, my universe has been slowly untangling at the seams, now unusable scraps and threads of a life that used to make sense. First off, you don’t know pain until... come on, Kal, don’t cry... until you have to... ask a stranger for the time. Dear Jesus. I pray none of you experience this suburban nightmare. The only people who should ever ask what time it is are grandmas or Amish people or pro wrestlers who are really just waiting to yell “NOPE! IT’S CLOBBERIN’ TIME” so don’t fall for that okay. And no, I will not wear a watch. Years of competitive piano and HJs bulked up my wrists to the point of masculinity, ruling out watches in my ongoing struggle to appear womanly.

My phone’s absence not only destroyed my grasp of time, but my grasp of the male species. I miss the schoolgirl high of seeing that special person’s name pop up. I miss patting myself on the back for successfully conveying complex emotions through carefully selected emojis.  I miss compulsively checking for that text back, even if it is just Ellie Goulding staring back at me, disappointed, wishing she was the background of a more popular phone. But most of all, I miss Snapchat—the glorious app that lets me send silly pictures to friends, oh sorry I meant weekly reminders to sexual prospects of my existence. Your knee-jerk happiness that I didn’t send you another picture of cereal, your awe of my ability to jam such wit and insight into a one-line caption, your thumb digitally caressing my cheek ever so slightly. You. Me. For three uninterrupted seconds, us

But you know what I hate more than not having a phone? Inequality. Racism. Taxes. LOL kidding I love all of those things! Keeps the class system in check. But for realz, the one thing I hate more than not having a phone, is the fact that I hate not having a phone. Why does it bother me so much? Just 20 short years ago, nobody had a cell phone. And they had fanny packs and Woodstock and other things that are fun. Did they hate it? Hell no. Have you ever seen anyone miserable wearing a fanny pack? Not possible. It’s a hip holster created so you can have your necessities on the ready, and still be able have full use of both hands, to grab all the ass your pouch will be attracting, of course. Hold up, my fact checker just informed me that fanny packs are not cool, Woodstock was way more than 20 years ago, and I am an idiot. Listen here, Gary, artists have no time to deal with “facts” and being “right” and “making sense” damnit Gary you’re fired. Just kidding come back please you’re my only connection to the outside world.


Wait, why do I even need to be connected to the outside world? Why do I feel this sense of lacking? As if my life itself isn’t enough to entertain me. There are a million awesome things going on around us every second—and the more we try to keep up with everyone’s life, the more we’ll lose touch with our own. A few nights ago, I went to pick up a pizza for myself. Actually, I just fired my fact checker so we’ll say it was for a friend okay yeah cool. Due to my overeager desire for pizza, the order wasn’t ready when I arrived. I sat down to wait out the seemingly short five minutes, when a sudden assault of panic punched me in the stomach. I’m sitting here, like Steven Glansberg, alone. Now what? Usually I whip out my phone and mindlessly scroll through hipster babies and #legday and the awfully stale drunk dancin’, hummus eatin’ birthday picstitches. But now, God forbid, I have no way to escape. While frantically trying to avoid an awkward moment with myself, I was somewhat relieved to find an overhead TV playing ESPN. I know jack squat about sports, so it took me a while to realize the TV was on mute and not just playing an uplifting montage set to the restaurant’s 2000s hip-hop playlist. But still, I got to reminisce on the hyper 11th grade car rides to J-Kwon, while half-learning about the irrelevant football rankings beyond my school’s #1 spot. I was aware. I was present. Although the family at a nearby table noticed me sitting creepily still and probably thought I staked out their beloved pizza night, I felt alive.

Sometimes it takes a forceful push to take a step back from our incessant FOMO and insatiable thirst for attention from people that don’t really care about us. Focus on your current conversation with someone who is actively choosing your fat face over texting. Pay attention. Listen. We need to re-learn how to stand in line, how to be still, and wholeheartedly devour wherever we are. Oh wait, this guy on Craigslist says he’ll give me a new iPhone for free if I can “grease some serious pipe”...? Well I don’t know much about plumbing, but I’m pretty broke right now so how hard can it be? Yay Craigslist! Bye guys! Text me l8r!


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