A dropped phone means dropping from modern life

While leaving Arabic class on Tuesday and heading back to the office, I dropped my phone. In slow motion the phone hit the ground, causing the cover to pop off, the battery to eject, and then the handset to spiral through the air into a tiny half foot wide water canal nearby (there for aesthetic purposes).

I snatched it out of course.

But the damage was done. While the screen remained active for a few minutes, soon it died. I took it immediately to the Nokia store, considering the phone was only a month old — a gift from my husband — and they asked what was wrong. 

"I dropped it," I said, feeling it unnecessary to share too much information.

The service clerk took the back off and said, "This phone has been in water." 

How did he know? They all come embedded now with a tiny white dot, less than the size of a fingernail, that turns color after it’s been wet.

They kept the phone for five days. In the meantime I had to go back to a phone several years old because my most recent one I gave to a friend who had been eyeing it. The friend is a student and we all remember wanting things we couldn’t have at that age. I didn’t it any longer, I reasoned, since I had the newer and better model.

Well the phone from 2007 was quite an adjustment. I could barely remember how any of the buttons worked and even less how to send message with just one finger (I had full keypad on the newer model). There were people in my life now who had no history in the old phone; there were entries from 2007 I had long since forgotten.

The photos were another jolt even from a mere two years ago; I saw a friend’s baby, coming up fast on his second year, with a wobbly head and infant onesize, nowhere near the ambulatory prowess he shows these days.

I miss my phone; I’ve tried baking it, leaving it a bowl of rice, putting it on the dash of my car in the Doha heat. I can’t fathom that once I was a person who walked around saying that I didn’t want to access the Internet on my phone or take pictures, just talk on it. Mind you, I haven’t become a crackBerry addict nor have I started using the camera phone as my chronicler of all memories. But it is nice to have the option when there is free wireless to hop on and check in. Like when you’re on the sofa and have a few minutes. It’s amazing to have all those letters at your fingertips to shoot back messages that to me now seem novel length.

I hope the phone comes back. Red, shiny, and expensive it is a confirmation of what I’m constantly telling my husband: "I’m not to be trusted with expensive things".

In the meantime if I’ve declined your call it was by accident; and if I’m not texting you back it’s not out of anger. I just can’t get my thumb to move that fast. I hope to come back to civilization soon. The phone works; it just won’t register signal. Got any remedies?