What You Had, What You Lost

“Don’t be such a girl.” There it is, in its perfect, tiny text bubble. And below it–

“And you’re not fat. You’re really sexy”

No end punctuation, but at least he didn’t write, “Ur not fat, ur really sexy.” “Ur mean,” he wrote earlier in the evening, when I mentioned that anytime Z. says, “I really wanna see you”– which he does, frequently– he sounds genuinely surprised, as though he can’t believe he feels actual desire to look at my face. Or touch me. Or blah blah blah, oh, fuck me, oh why won’t you fuck me, oh, why am I still such a girl?

Our seemingly endless flirtatious mess is laid out before my very eyes, now, a scrolling comic book of bullshit which, with the merest, most delicate tap! of my elegant, crimson-coated thumbnail, I can follow back-and-forth in time, although, I mean… why would one want to, really? The iPhone is designed to encapsulate each “conversation” on a separate “page”, so that, yes, unless I delete it, I can always look back fondly on the time Z. said, “Idk what I hate more, mimes or magicians,” or, better (I guess?) “I Like your ass”, trapped in its bubble like a mosquito in so much sapped amber, with a similar capacity to be mined: Oh, hark, what light through yonder window breaks? It is the time that boy I’ve dug since seventh grade put his fondness for my posterior in writing. Looks like we made it…

Really, though, is there any image more pathetic than the image of a grown woman rereading a written conversation with her occasional lover? It’s practically theater!– for dummies, anyway– the iPhone eases any and all difficulty you might encounter, and, as such, Z.’s texts are in white bubbles, and mine are in green, causing the screen to resemble my scripts from middle school drama, which I’d attack with a highlighter, so there would be NO DOUBT which lines were mine.

And which lines are?

The longer ones. The properly spelled, and immaculately punctuated, ones. The ones designed to titillate. The ones designed to prick, and sting, ever so slightly. Like my laptop, my iPhone (which is not quite a week old) is a ledger for acts of seduction, a repository for the myriad ways to keep him piqued and guessing. There is a delightful, layered irony, here, an irresistible framing: for just as my handy little pocket computer seems to say, from minute to charged minute, “Click me! Click me!” like some pixilated Alician potion, so, too, is Z.’s presence something that zings my brain with recognition, which in turn produces desire: “Click me,” he seems to say, from afar. “Maybe I’ll bite.”

Except he so rarely does. Owing to what, I’ll never know. Today, driving home from school on the winding back country roads of Cumberland County, Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams” blared from FM radio, and I thrilled as ever to Stevie Nicks’s younger, throaty voice, the way it skips up and over the lyric, “It’s only ri-ight that you should/Play the way you feel it/But listen careful-lee-ee to the sou-ound/Of your lone-li-ness…” the music humming in the background like a storm on the horizon you can ignore for now. Everything in Stevie’s voice plays it oh, so cool– that casual, lilting vibrato, it’s almost as if her voice can raise its eyebrows. If only I was that girl. If only I wasn’t such a girl. Or branded as such. I sing along, window slightly down, the fall air blowing my hair just back, brushing my small breasts in their snug lace, my stupid, darling phone, with its stupid record of my darling crush daring me to click it, to bite. Which I do not. I do not.

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This entry was published on September 21, 2012 at 4:00 am and is filed under Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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