I got an Iphone for my birthday. It was a present from my mum. At the time I’d been going without a phone for a good month since I’d water damaged my Blackberry. Note to self: don’t leave phone beside bedside water. I remember heralding that month as a triumph. When people asked, I’d act as if it was by choice. That I didn’t need a phone, I was better than that, I didn’t believe in them anyway. Not surprisingly, I was getting a lot of shit done. Mainly because I wasn’t distracted by my ‘silly’ socializing. The people who wanted to contact me found a way, and the others… well, they were forgotten. It was like my very own friend finder. A natural siv.
At first mum had only given me a pair of tie up short shorts and a card. I got a shock when I opened her package and the Iphone wasn’t there. I thought she’d have gotten the hint. She knew I didn’t have a phone and she knew i needed one. So I was disappointed with her those few days before my birthday. I’d opened the package early you see. I can be very impatient sometimes.
I decided to see if she would come to my rescue in the phone department anyhow. And with some careful nudging she sent me the dosh for an Iphone as well. Just in time for my birthday. The whole 450 quid! I’d been using my Blackberry before for email on the go and music. So i guess it made sense getting an Iphone.
I headed down to White Chapel High St. home to a million phone dealers. Just like crack dealers, they were a bit dodgy. Each stall was full of men. The first indicator of dodgyness. Where were the women phone dealers? At home in bed, waiting patiently i imagined. The men would eye me as I walk past. I squinted back. Trying to figure out if they really had what I wanted. Whilst they were just imagining me having sex. I was after the new one. Yeh, Iphone 4s whatever that meant… Why wouldn’t I want the newest? Oh and the one with the biggest memory for sure. I have a lot of music you know. I’m a big fan.
Eventually I got an amazing offer of over 200 pound off . I was handed a phone number on a tiny piece of paper. I needed to call it at a certain time, on a certain day. It was all on the lay low. I wouldn’t know who I was talking to and where the phone was coming from. I was tip toeing into the black market.
The next day was my birthday and I’d organized dinner and a guestlist at an event. I needed my Iphone to make sure the night ran smoothly. I rang the secret number but the guy didn’t have it. I told him my plans and pressured him to get it sorted today. He said ‘call back at 4pm’. I waited. I waited all day stressing about the Iphone. What if he still didn’t have it? What then? Would my birthday party be ruined and my friends scattered all over the floor? So I went down to the High st to organize my back up plan. And after much remission I found a store just off the High st. I’d decided I didn’t trust those High st. buggers this time and ventured off the main road. Here, the manager would sell me an Iphone for 100 pound more but he assured me it was a much better choice. He claimed he was legit and went on to warn that the artful dodgers around the corner could pack up whenever they like but he, he wasn’t going anywhere. He’d pretty much got me covered me when he laid down the comforting line ‘if you have any problems, you can always come back to the store’. I liked that, it was like a little bit of honesty. We all know these gadgets don’t always work like the breeze, so it was true that I’d need some help some time or another. Come 4pm and the faceless man on the end of the phone line failed me. I headed to an ATM and withdrew my every penny. Leaving just enough pounds for some dinner and some wine. It was an exciting time the birth of my Iphone. She was brought into to the world and handled with care. I walked out a proud mother.
We played my music whilst riding my bicycle. I’d sing-a-long to our self-compiled soundtrack always grinning with glee. I’d get frustrated with her GPS and we’d have an arguments where i told her i wouldn’t deal with her shit anymore. I found places a lot easier after that. I’d simply draw on my hand and started using my eyeballs. She offered to record my rants a few times, but i always found it a bit weird listening to my voice back. I don’t have any issue speaking out loud, but when spoken to by my own voice, it’s hard to listen.
Most of all I used her notepad. I piled a lot of shit on her. Just like I am now with my homeboy word (He’s a homeboy coz he’s set to the pad) I’d write a lot. I was trying my hardest to capture the whole world around me. And she allowed me to write when it was happening while it was happening. That was definitely a liberating experience and I’m thankful to her for that.
Approx three months later I’m heading home with a cute boy. We’re pissed. Well, I’m pretty sure I was but I’m not too sure about him. I wasn’t too focused on him at the time. I was about 5 steps ahead of myself, as per usual. I’m always on a rampage. In this instance of the sexual kind. Surprisingly we’d just walked from Waterloo to London bridge, got a bus, then walked from Liverpool st to Hackney Rd with him on crutches and me still drunk after only four drinks! Don’t know how that worked out, but somehow we managed. Anyway, from what I remember I was playing tunes off my Iphone as we were walking to the bus stop. Teardrop by Massive Attack to be exact. I was holding her out in the palm of my hand so we could clearly hear her. I must of been wavering her about like a madwoman. So bloody obvious! Ugh, the lessons we must learn. When we got to the bus stop there was a bus there already so I ran up to make sure we got on. But the bus was going nowhere as the bus driver explained. Something had caused it to sort of switch off and all the passengers were was still sitting on the bus even though it wasn’t moving. Well, that’s strange, i thought. Then all of a sudden in a WOOOOOSH these guys came out of the bus and were all around me asking if I wanted to go to a party. I was really flattered and told them that i was sorry i couldn’t and then I had to turn around indicating to my boy. As quick as they appeared, they were back on the bus and we stumbled onto one behind it. One that was actually going somewhere. I don’t remember much from this point on but we got home and my Iphone was gone. It was during sex that she came to me. Such an inconvenient time! Half way through and all I was thinking was fuck fuck fuck fuck she’s gone!
The next day I was in a good mood. Despite my hangover. The sun was out and I was remembering the brilliance of the night before. It was only later that I started to feel the pinch. Funny, because now I remembered only days before a friend had explained to me how people steal stuff. “They tell you an interesting story…” he said, and started to tell me a story when I told him to “shutup!”. That wasn’t very nice. I didn’t even listen to him, so he never got to show me how they get around to taking all your stuff and then i was left, too smart for my own boots, or in this case, too smart for my Iphone.
I had a good think about the death of my Iphone. And the more I thought about it the more profusely annoyed I’d get at getting her in the first place. The death of my Iphone made me feel ashamed. And to be honest the birth of Iphone made me feel ashamed as well. I’d always paid people out who had them. I’d call them a fashion statement, a distraction from life itself and not too mention a bloody rip off!! But then I had to go and make my mum who’d already bought me a gift, was struggling with debt herself, has two other kids to feed, step up and finance me one!
I think what’s really smart about the Iphone is that it reminds you of all the things that you could do, and then makes it easier for you to do them. And then, then she grows on you. You re-learn to not be able to do these things without her. To be brutally blunt, its almost like a kind of parasite. Your disabled and she’s enabled. What a brilliant ploy! The phone companies are definitely the ones that are winning out on this one, not us. I can’t imagine how much money they make from the sales of these things, the bills from these things, and then the early upgrade replacements from all those who regularly lose these things.
I get ready to head out to Hampstead Heath determined not to get bugged down. I plug in my sisters old Ipod and upload my music . I pack a real notepad and pen. I post a shout out for anyone’s old phone on Facebook and only moments later and I’ve got a reply. I’ll be meeting my friend at the end of the week.
Does everything need to be easy nowadays? Just a flick of a switch away? Is it really getting easier? Or is just getting more complicated and more financially taxing? What about those times you get lost and found some place you’ve never seen before. Or the time you found that scrap piece of paper with someone’s details on it and a nice message weeks down the track. Isn’t that more special? I use to scroll through my contacts never calling and never messaging people. I’d just like to contemplate the action. Or the other extreme, I’d message a boy way too much jibber jabber all under the influence of infatuation, ruining any chances i once had.
The Iphone is sold on the ideal of getting more connected. But earlier I mentioned my utmost use and the getting connected part didn’t change at all. I spent more time tagging where I was in the world than speaking to loved ones. Like i said if you really want to contact someone you will. With the advertising world getting smarter, in a couple of years there will be a new ubiquitous product that will out date our much loved Iphone and you’ll be going through this whole process once again.
What if instead, we focused on that initial thought. The idea itself. In this case “Getting connected”. So how bout we spend a day with our mums, and thank them for putting up with our bullshit. Look out for our siblings, or if your the baby of the crew let them look out for you. Or drop by unexpectedly at friends place, and catch up for old times sake.
That way we save ourselves a lot of trouble, let alone a lot money we can use for far better good.