My Nokia N95 did a dive the other day. Literally. I was having a pedicure (not as relaxing a process as you might think- for such skinny girls they are freakishly strong and yank your feet pretty roughly) and suddenly the phone slipped off my lap and plopped into the water that one foot was still soaking in. I could only whimper in panic- my nails were wet, you see. Heaven forbid that they get smudged. The manicurist had quick reflexes and plunged her hand into the water to retrieve the phone. When I got home I opened up the phone and tried to dry its insides with a hairdryer. Nothing worked. The phone still kept beeping randomly, skipping commands and heating up.
I am upset for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it’s a great phone that can do so many things. The 5 megapixel camera meant fabulous resolution for my photos, the internet connection made checking my e-mail so easy wherever I was… the list, while not endless, is pretty long. Secondly, a VERY good friend gave me the phone. It was really generous of him, so I’m kicking myself for having been so careless and spoiled it in such a spectacularly mundane way. Thirdly, I feel lost without my phone. I am using a substitute now, but it doesn’t have a lot of the phone numbers I’d entered into the Nokia.
But the greatest epiphany occurred just after I had dropped the phone, when I was still out and could not get home for a couple of hours. I was uncontactable for all that time. No one could get in touch with me. At all. I should have felt liberated. Instead I felt disoriented and alone. When did I stop enjoying my own company? Or maybe it was just the place I was at: I HATE United Square. It is unfriendly and expensive. There are too few places to sit, and you are forced to wander into shops and restaurants. Very hard to do that without spending money. And the music is so loud. If I hear one more stridently invasive Chinese New Year song I am going to blow my brains out with a bicycle pump.
Actually I’ve come full circle with this revelation, because my aversion to United Square explains what I was doing getting a pedicure in the first place: it was the only comfortable place I could find to pass an hour and a half. Now I just sit at the taxi stand and mark essays (ugh). You can see why I feel lonely and unloved if I don’t have my phone with me!