You know how on TV and in movies, when an addict gets clean and then falls off the wagon and starts using again, there’s always a scene of him/ her crying while shooting up or sucking the crack pipe?
The face is frozen in a sobbing, rotten-toothed rictus. Then camera pans to zombie-like, drooling junkies all around on filthy mattresses. Some of them moaning and humping. A neglected baby cries in the corner. Soundtrack: Stevie Wonder’s Living For The City.
I feel like that whole scene every day with my phone.
Using, using and weeping.
I can’t stop.
Yesterday, I got eyelash extensions (love ’em) and it took lying on a table with my eyes taped shut to keep me from checking the thing for 90 whole minutes. I wanted to, but I couldn’t.
Everything I do triggers me to look at it.
Getting out of the subway.
Leaving the elevator.
Waiting for the light to change.
Someone else taking out phone.
Getting out of the shower.
One person ahead of me in line at Citarella, farmer’s market, public restroom, the terrible 13th Street Rite Aid.
Feeling a feeling, or sneezing a sneeze.
Steven getting up from restaurant table to go to the bathroom. All alone, must look at phone.
And when I’m bored of what’s on my phone? I look around for my phone. Forgetting I’m already looking at it.
I hate it. It’s gross.
I hate myself for it, and I hate everyone else for having the same problem.
I weave around people who are texting on the street, muttering “nice place to text.” I think, “People in Europe don’t walk and look at their phones.” And then I take out my phone.
I go for a walk, put the heinous thing in my bag while I listen to a podcast on headphones. Just listen. Just me and the sounds. No touch. No touchy phone.
Then, phone buzzes. Email? Text? Must. Not. Check.
Stick hand in bag just to clutch the phone while I walk. Makes me feel good.
OK, just look. Make sure it’s not urgent.
Not urgent. Put it back in bag. Take it back out. There might be someone paying attention to me on Facebook. Need my dose of red notification thingie.
Type while walking. Stop walking to type better. Move to the side, up against building. Write long, witty paragraph.
Rewind podcast because I missed several minutes while typing long, witty paragraph.
Take phone back out of bag one block later to see if anyone liked my long, witty paragraph. Hate myself for even thinking the word “witty” and for being on my phone. Hate phone for almost making me step in dog shit. I’ve lost my touch. I always used to see the dog shit.
Weep. I am weak and dirty. And so is my phone. Literally, it’s really, really dirty. It needs a new case.
Cue Stevie Wonder.
What about you?
Are you weak and dirty and self-hateful with your phone like I am?
Have you ever tried to quit?
TELL ME IN THE COMMENTS.
You can also ask me a question. I’m collecting them for future blog posts.