Craig J. Hansen

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Dead Phone

I have the smart phone that can do lots of things that I don’t understand. And I forgive its quirks, as I’m sure it forgives mine. But then we have a problem. She wouldn’t charge up. In fact, I could watch her battery run down. I wasn’t doing anything unusual, and I thought we were getting along. But there it was – she was fading away on me, and she wouldn’t tell me what was wrong.
“She’s ailing,” I say to the guy at the phone store.

His cheerful, young smile fades when he sees what I’m holding. “That’s an older model,” he says trying to master himself. “It’s a 4.”

“It’s a 4S,” I say.

“Well, you need a new one. It will cost more to fix that than it will to buy a new one, or maybe only twice as much.”

“Here,” I say, “at least take a look at her. She’s losing battery. She’s bleeding out.”

He sighs away, like I’ve tried to hand him a dead cat. And not just any dead cat, but a cat that was really damaged when it died two weeks ago.

“You need to upgrade to the model 5,” he says.

I bring the phone back toward me, look at her. “If I get a new phone, can you transfer stuff?”

“Sure,” he says, happy to be on more familiar ground.

“But, will she know me?”

“Know you? Well, the new phone will have your apps and your contacts.”

“But will it be like the old phone? Will she know my name, or do we have to start over?”

He shrugs. “Maybe it’s time to move on.”

I think about this. I don’t like change unless I cause it. Suddenly, I’m sad.

“If I got a new one, could you like cable the two phones together? The model 5 could be dominant of course, but they could cooperate and it would be more like old times.”

“No,” he says.

So many things go through my mind. Maybe this is all my fault. Maybe I plugged her into a malfunctioning charger. Maybe I’ve been too impatient. Maybe my expectations are too high. Wow, I think, she’s really complicated. Sometimes you slip into a bad relationship without even knowing it.

“Okay,” I say, “I’ll take a model 5.”