dear iphone

drawing of an iphone, 3:13 am on the screen

“It’s time, Baby, to let that shit go.”

Dear iphone,

We are not so different, you and I, aside from the blood pumping in my veins and our obvious size difference, me so large and pillowy soft compared to your flat hard rectangular slipperiness. Oh, you go everywhere with me, like a shadow or a best friend (but maybe you are more shadow than friend?)

At night, like me, you inexplicably wake, beaming. Sometimes I wake at the same time as you. (We are, I think, linked?) And I see you, wide-eyed, staring at me. I have turned off every notification setting I can find; I have activated the “do not disturb” feature on your very latest OS—yet still, you wake over and over.

You are the sieve, the news-breaker, the heart-breaker of my life, aren’t you? Through your tiny speakers I have seen news that gutted me and heard hard words from people I love. I’ve heard honesty and seen realities that should have shattered your dark face.

But you are a phone. Why do you wake, little one? I wish you could sleep.

Maybe old hard syllables echo in you, something like abandonment dreams or trapped memories?

Triggers of something hard-wired into you by a tired woman half a world away who assembled you in a factory far from her family, thinking maybe of a mother or father or child she would likely never see again, swept by economic suck from home forever?

Is it her that wakes you?

You light up the dim bedroom, again, again. Is it the news? The latest assault or attack that flows through you to me? Do you try, and sometimes fail, like I do, to let it go? Is that it?

The news that rings with nightmare laughter of pussy grabbers, of men (and women, too) with hearts harder than your protective casing. Oh, little one, I understand that. I wake afraid, too.

Rape is a weapon, sexual abuse is a weapon—I’m getting off track, but rape is a weapon, and rape culture is to rape as open-carry is to gun violence. The news! Over and over, the wife or girlfriend shot before the rampage. They are trying to keep us afraid, aren’t they? But they don’t know. I’ve begun these sleepless nights to figure it out.

Maybe this is why you’ve taken to waking me. To make me see that to be afraid is to be human. We humans, all of us—are vulnerable to hurt, to pain. So maybe the trick is to be afraid, and do what you want anyway. Do not comply out of fear.

Complying from fear: that would be like losing yourself.

Like losing your heart and soul.

Speaking of loss, my soft body with its hard bones will not last, my little rectangular friend. In the end, we are both disposable. It’s okay. My soul will, I think, continue on. In some form or another.

Maybe I’ll become some whispered words between lost lovers who find each other on a starry night. Words that unlock something healing. Maybe I’ll be whispered words in a phone like you, words that might push someone else to move, despite their fear, into the stream of life.

Maybe I’ll be reborn a rectangle, hard and sleek, living warm in a pocket.

If I do, I imagine I’ll often wake with a jolt like you do, full of dread and information.

And then, like you, I’ll do my very best to close back down and sleep until it is time to chime awake the lovers tangled together in the bed next to me, to gently tell them morning has come, and the world somehow continues still to turn.

Love,
E

[ Note: much as I love and personify my iphone, we are no longer sleeping in the same room 🙂 ]

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  1. #1 by Dawn D on November 20, 2017 - 7:48 am

    First of all, I like how you manage to use negative experiences and turn them into such positive thoughts. And with such grace and style!
    Then, a bit of practical advice: f you have trouble sleeping, it is possible that it is because of the wi-fi in your house. I was told to try and turn it off at night to help sleep better.
    Also, if you want your phone to stay asleep, simply put it on plane mode. That kills any wifi waves arriving to it and it should sleep much more soundly too.
    XO

    • #2 by Elaine Olund on November 24, 2017 - 7:46 pm

      Thank you Dawn! It turned out that it was something to do with the charger brick (which was not the original)–even in airplane mode, it would chime (repeatedly) when it became fully charged in the night. Whew, I thought I was going crazy but, going crazy is always fodder for writing, yes? I agree about the wifi, good to escape that sometimes.
      Hope you are well, my dear.

      • #3 by Dawn D on November 25, 2017 - 4:35 am

        Ha! Glad you figured it out!
        And you’re right, great for writing, and when one writes like you… always a pleasure to read 🙂
        I’m fine. A bit too stressed and anxious, but generally fine, thank you. Hope you are well too.

  2. #4 by theblogthatsavedmybacon on November 24, 2017 - 6:31 pm

    This is brilliant! Amazingly written!

    • #5 by Elaine Olund on November 24, 2017 - 7:48 pm

      Hey, thanks for reading and double-thanks for commenting and letting me know you liked it. That is a wonderful bonus of writing, knowing someone has read the work!
      I’ll check your blog out soon, look forward to seeing what you are writing about.

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