Recently I decided it about time to invest in a phone case, fearful as I was of catastrophic deconnection. Basing my choice of repair shop on its homely decor and subdued mood lighting, I strolled in. The welders goggles really came in handy I mused. The face of the chirpy and well dressed man behind the counter lit up as I entered. I declined the offer of a complimentary herbal tea and puff pastries before he deigned to show me his wares. “I have just what you desire milord.” He proferred me his hand. Into it I slid my phone. My phone, but more than just that. A collection of photos, saved passwords, social network notifications, white lighting, unexpected buzzes, low battery warnings, chipped screens, protracted searches under cushions, bacterial growth, insufficient memory, obsolecence and a sizeable chip in my bank account. Not a microchip. Into his hand I conferred my phone. I have had many phones, each one has been mine. Every one has been mine and only mine. Each one has had its share of confidential data and sweet nothings. But this one is special. It needs to be protected. Much like the last.
I watch as he delicately wipes my screen. A two step ritual of unctuous wipes. He places his foot on a hidden step behind the counter for stability. The ceremony reaches a climax. The tabernacle of reparation has been opened. A protective film of impeccable quality. With assured dexterity he approaches the plastic screen to its bearer. Knee raised above the counter, head lowered, deep in concentration I watch with trepidation as the film teeters above the screen. Will it take first time? What if the operation goes bad? Did I make the right choice? I didn’t even ask around. Oh what have I done? Jesus Christ its the end. The film is now aligned with the selfie camera. No going back. With the side of his hand he begins to swipe along the appareil, bubbles forming and flattening before my very eyes. This is it, I think to myself. I clench my jaw for good measure. With a flourish he flattens the last portion before inspecting his work. What a pro! I gleam at my glistening phonething. Wow oh wow.