I was standing in a long, motionless line to get into the only bar in Amagansett when I shattered my phone this past weekend. I have zero recollection of the event, but I’m told that I responded by saying, “Whatever, I needed a new phone anyway.”
I certainly did not need a new phone. We’re talking about a fully functioning (proudly uncased) iphone 5. So I have no idea why I said that. (It goes without saying that I never made it inside the bar.)
Actually, I kind of do know why I said that.
Weeks earlier, I faced the unenviable task of moving a parked car at 8 a.m. after a night spent drinking until 6 a.m. My (extremely fucking trusty) internal alarm woke me at 7:50 a.m., and after gathering enough of my bearings to remember where I was parked, I threw on most of the clothes scattered around me and ran out the door. I made it halfway down the block before executing a textbook, perfect-score-from-the-Ukrainian-judge faceplant. In the process of falling, I managed to stick out my hand in a limp, hungover way that did not break my fall whatsoever, but did lead me to scratch the back of my iphone, since, for whatever reason, I was running phone-in-hand. Thank God that happened to the back and not the front! I remember thinking.
Fast forward to waking up with a shattered phone in the pocket of my jeans, which I was still wearing. It was a shock, I’ll admit. What happened here? Why me? Does it still work?
** thumb over the screen **
**compulsive Instagram check**
Okay, it works. But the front screen is totally shattered. Next question.
Who the fuck cares?
My first two impulses were to get a glass of water and take off my pants. My cell was what every personal phone is to those emerging from a fuzzy night: A source of curiosity. And the screen was kind of a neutral part of the equation.
I didn’t fucking care.
As the day went on, I still didn’t fucking care.
A few days later, I still don’t fucking care.
My phone is totally functional. I put gauze on it. Actual gauze. Shards of glass fall off occasionally, but the significant pieces are in tact. Eventually, I’ll test the Verizon insurance plan for which I pay something like $9,000 a month. But I tend to procrastinate with things like that.
What’s weird is that I used to look at people with cracked phone screens and wonder how they tolerated it. It seemed like a totally in-your-face reminder of the potential to fail violently at any given moment—a glimpse at the fragility of anyone’s middle class, phone-dependent existence.
But now I don’t care.
Is there a moral to this story? Maybe. I could say something about how shattering my most prized possession helped me realize what’s actually important. Except nothing seems more important. Whether or not my phone screen is cracked just seems less important.
I might also tell you that once my phone became a bit less seductive, I could disconnect and finally live in the moment/cut the invisible cord/Figure It All Out! But, nope. I’m using my phone just as much.
The only real takeaway may be that you can’t assess the severity of other people’s problems from the outside. Cause they just might not give a fuck either.
Featured image courtesy of Middle Name James