Presence in absence

In the land of the Bunched Hunched up people

Ï watched my smartphone fall a short distance from the study table one evening during its charging ritual. A few seconds before, wanting to check messages, I’d sort of pulled it by the charging cord and, as the law of gravity would have it, its weight pulled it off the connecting point. It ceremoniously met with the ceramic tiled floor and the Lumia 800 hurdled towards permanent lights out. Heartbroken and instantly sore to the core from the thud sound I heard when the phone hit the floor I expected the worst damage as I picked it up. I could make out a few things on the screen for the screen was damaged but surprisingly not cracked… but the main buttons of Home, Confirm and Return were not responsive to my frantic fingerings. Something more in this harsh ordeal was that I could swear the screen was dying out for a dark purplish lava lamp like goo moved in slomo to blot out the screen. Bought for novelty’s sake than to fit in with the populace, this was a phone whose battery was non-removable; it possessed only two slots, one for charging and the other for the micro-sim. And now jammed into its spacious memory were important keys to my daily activities by way of a calendar, social media networking platforms, private documents, photos of where I have been or what interest me as well as an extensive address book of my contacts. A sad thought loomed in the background of this specter, I was being blurred out towards an erasure as the dark lava spread throughout the screen signaling the death of the device.

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Diary entry 10 January

What does it feel like when your phone is on the tv stand? Let’s increase the distance, what does it feel like when it is in another room or better still when you leave it at home only to discover during your trip to work or school that you are without it? Nerving isn’t? They have become sticky things them cell phones them, neh. Our hook up to them often reminds me of the advert of the guy trying to quit smoking and the cigarette box is stuck on his hand while he tries to throw it in the bin. He goes for a patch or a chewing gum to free himself of the smokes. Social media networks, a blessing of our time or a curse for those who cherish privacy? Watch out for our next piece: Presence in absence in the Land of the Bunched Hunched Up People to be blogged on 13 January 2015, it’s an article dedicated to the television and film screenwriter, travel writer and the weekly columnist for The Times – Darrel Bristow-Bovey

 

 

© Mmutle Arthur Kgokong 2015

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