I’ve got this amazing habit of losing or destroying iPhones. I’ve left two of them in taxis. I got one stolen from me while I was doing open mic hiphop and finally, and most recently, I dropped one into the hot, full and very soapy sink at the Risque Café while I was attempting to simultaneously clean glasses and check my facebook status on my last night of work for some dumb reason (thanks to all of y’all who came out by the way. Shit was fun as hell. In fact, if I didn’t know myself better, I’d say I was hung over yesterday as a result. Fortunately I know myself pretty well and I’ve determined that I’m just dying of some as of yet undiagnosed terminal illness). What’s the end result? I have no phone. My wife is pissed, and with good reason. I mean, I’ve lost or destroyed something in the neighborhood of thousands of dollars worth of iphones in the last two years. She says (and I’m quoting) ‘you’re not allowed to have any more iphones for a while’ and what am I gonna do? Argue? No way. She’s right. I can’t have nice things. I mean, fuck. I’ve broken or lost almost everything I’ve ever owned. That’s why, as a rule I don’t own nice things. I’m not equipped to handle the pressure that not ruining something applies to a situation. That’s why I’m slightly troubled to have these kids…but that’s a whole other story/series of neuroses. Okay, I’m rambling a little. Let’s focus, shall we? How about an anecdote that sums up what I’m attempting to convey, eh?
My friend Eric has a pretty sweet life that involves sitting around and getting high and playing with his super cute kid. He plays the guitar and the bass for this kid and takes him down to Freaky’s to get replacement parts for his weed vaporizer and every once in a while he does a little bit of graphic design work. He talks up his design business like it’s a sufficient income and all that, but those of us who are in the know (fellow deadbeats) smell the truth. It’s a house of cards. His wife is a lawyer and he’s essentially a nanny who occasionally bones the boss (not to say that I’m not acutely aware of my own uh…position, just by the way).
ANYHOO, They’ve got all sorts of crazy renovations going on with their house and at one point I asked him something along the lines of “uh, dude…with all this shit going on with your house and everything do you ever get bummed, or does your old lady get bummed that you aren’t really uh…you know, pulling your weight financially?”
And his response, essentially was “uh, dude, I could live in my fucking pickup truck if it wasn’t for my wife. I don’t need anything. It’s her that wants an addition on our house. I could go back to living in absolute squalor right now and not miss a beat. Any time she complains at me, I tell her, “hey, let’s just do what I can afford then. I’m fine with it.” And that pretty much shuts her up, because she knows that I can get by happily on nothing.”
I know this feeling to an extent. I’ve lived in a teeny tiny box with up to six other grown men for my entire adult life. I’ve slept on floors, shit into bags, eaten cheetos for dinner on Thanksgiving, slept in abandoned lots, broken into places, rescued roadies from situations where they’d had the cops called on them after they had just boned a chick that looked like a Mexican Corky from Life Goes On with two bloody arms after two unsuccessful home break in attempts (in the cab of a pickup truck in a semi-random driveway) and navigated a literal field of poo logs and hypodermic syringes in order to find a place to lay down.
I’ve stood in freezing mud up to my waist while I watched tripping, coked up Frenchmen drive their trucks into muddy ravines. I’ve spent three days in a parking lot in Kittaning PA for fucks sake. I’ve bought a pack of 20 bean burritos for three bucks from the aldi and split the bounty with three other dudes and that’s all we ate for a week. I’ve suffered. Not ‘buttfucked in jail’ suffered, or ‘I live in a house made of milk cartons right by a polluted river’ suffered, but I’ve got a pretty decent handle on the lower rungs of human existence.
But man….I can’t imagine a life where I can’t look up what Heidi and Spencer are doing on my phone. It’s kind of fucked (and I’m hyper aware that this very line of conversation is going on right now in literally one zillion spots on earth [including some places where mentally retarded people are the people doing the decision making re: what everyone’s talking about right now]) that so recently the idea of having a mobile phone was a Sultan of Brunei type luxury and now the notion of having a phone that doesn’t have an ipod built into it is tantamount to having a car you start with a crank or a camera obscura.
Remember when we had to know where we were gonna meet people? Like, “Hey, I’ll meet you on the northeast corner of clark and Belmont and then we’ll go do shit”? Remember that? Actually, remember when you even needed to make plans? Now it’s ridiculous. There’s no need to plan anything ahead because you can just call at the last possible minute and say things like “where are you? I’m walking down Clarendon right now…I’m on the east side of the street right by Glen’s dildo emporium…Are you almost here? Let’s call Paulie and go to that one Laundromat where the crosseyed Vietnamese chick works and see if we can get any more of that good blow from that old bald guy with the mop. Oh, I see you! Okay, you’re pulling over? Cool. Bye.”
My wife is one of those people who needs to guide every single encounter in with a series of short phonecalls to insure flawless meeting up and it drives me nuts. If I’m meeting her somewhere, there are a bare minimum of four phone exchanges that have to go down, regardless of how simple the pickup/meetup could potentially be. It begs the question “what on earth would we do if we didn’t have these celphones to safely shepherd us into each other’s company?” It would have been just nightmarish to have had to look for you on ALL FOUR CORNERS of this intersection! Jesus. It would be like reliving Katrina and 9-11 all over again, but this time it would be worse and I’d be even more confused, because WHAT AM I GONNA DO WITHOUT MY PHONE? How will I grieve? How will I know where people are and when they're getting there?
Remember answering machines? or not knowing who was calling? Remember having to ask for specific people on the phone rather than just calling the exact person you wanted to talk to? Remember going home to get messages or not being able to get your messages?
You get the idea.
My phone is dead and I don’t know what to do.