What Is A Cell Phone

By Mairead Byrne

A cell phone is a kind of clock. You don’t use it to check time. Though
of course you can. You use it to check that you exist. On the porch—am I
still here? In the driveway—am I here? In the car—what about now, am I
here? At the intersection—oh golly strangers everywhere—buses—trucks—
mama I’m turning keep talking for god’s sake yeah. You pat yourself down
more efficiently than any arresting cop.

A cell phone is a mobile bed. A security blanket. Saran wrap for the Reichstag
of your head.

Cell phones are a new dimension. They have revolutionized the concepts
of out & in. You’re never really out. Unless you’re comatose. And when
you’re in, you’re often out. You can be in your car, perched on your honey’s
knee, virtually. Or sullen on the couch, staring at your buzzing phone. Are
you “in” or “out”? Impossible to tell. A cell phone offers many inexplicables,
always in quotation marks.

A cell phone is a motor. You plug your head in & before you know it you
have exchanged one set of familiar surroundings for another. A cell phone
is a stun gun of the in between while simultaneously allowing no other state.

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