Cell Phone stories: First in a series

Cell Phone Landfill

Food court level, Citicorp building, midtown . . .

Homeland security cops patrol outside with heavy machine guns, bulletproof vests, and helmets . .

Inside, the tables are all taken. Next to me a dozen women critique each other’s CVs, discuss job search/ interview strategies. I get the sense they meet every couple of weeks to help each other through the recession . . .

A blonde woman is across the concourse, sitting alone.  Young, maybe early 20’s, with long blond hair, grey pinstripe pant suit. Pretty, in a generic way. Leaning over what looks like a book or newspaper, reading intently, with earphones in her ears. I thought of how unusual it was to see a young woman like that actually reading something on paper as opposed to staring into a laptoop or texting on her cell . . .

Cell Phone boxThen she is talking, with the earplugs still in. Quietly at first, a little nervous, then growing more animated. She has a flat accent, maybe Southwestern. As she is talking, she expresses herself with her hands, nodding aggressively as the other party makes a point, then laughing, flashing her eyes, touching her hair. Flirting with the person on the other end of the line. Putting her hands on her hips, threading her hair through her fingers through it so it falls back, then putting her hands together and rubbing them as she makes a point. Her voice getting louder and louder, as she reads from the papers spread in front of her.

Ordinarily, I am irritated by people yapping on their cells like this, forcing their one-side and intrusive conversation into my space. But I found this woman fascinating. Her gaze seemed to be focused just a few inches in front of her face. Except for her voice, she seemed like she had been surrounded by some sort of vacuum tube and pulled from the room, and she wasn’t a person at all, but some sort of hologram with this flat Southwestern voice. Like she’d been beamed right into the medium of the phone.

Such, such is the world we live in now . . .

6 Comments

    • Yeah. If cell phones disappeared tomorrow, I really wouldn’t miss them, but that ain’t likely to happen. I wonder at what point they will start being installed surgically? I wonder when people suddenly had so much to say?

  1. The iphone is truly the end of decent manners. Anyone I know who has one is unable to put it away. How many times has this happened to you? I was out for dinner with a friend, his iphone had to sit on the table among our food and drink. We hit a topic of conversation that suddenly provokes him to pick up his iphone and google a word, he is now only half talking to me, his attention diverted by what he is finding on the web. Then he feels compelled to share with me some ridiculous new iphone “app” he has recently purchased. That leads into him sharing with me some photos he’s taken, okay that’s not too boring, but then that leads into him checking his facebook updates, and he then shares with me some mildly amusing status update from someone I don’t even know, someone he hasn’t talked to in person for about 15 years…”cool huh?” he says. Yeah, “really cool”, I reply. I am having a more stimulating interaction with this piece of eel, at this point.

    • The iphone is truly the end of decent manners. Anyone I know who has one is unable to put it away. How many times has this happened to you? I was out for dinner with a friend, his iphone had to sit on the table among our food and drink. We hit a topic of conversation that suddenly provokes him to pick up his iphone and google a word, he is now only half talking to me, his attention diverted by what he is finding on the web. Then he feels compelled to share with me some ridiculous new iphone “app” he has recently purchased. That leads into him sharing with me some photos he’s taken, okay that’s not too boring, but then that leads into him checking his facebook updates, and he then shares with me some mildly amusing status update from someone I don’t even know, someone he hasn’t talked to in person for about 15 years…”cool huh?” he says. Yeah, “really cool”, I reply. I am having a more stimulating interaction with this piece of eel, at this point.

      Zoe – thanks for the comment. Very funny. Luckily, most of my friends are far too broke (especially now) to afford iphones but yes, they are the curse of our age. And you’re right, I’m sure they’re fun and everythng -but they’re only gadgets. I mean, ultimately, who cares? When did we become such a society of (very boring) gadget freaks?

      Next time someone does this, mock them. Mercilessly.

      Best,

      T.

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