One moment you are pulling out the phone out of the depths of your crammed backpack, nearly breaking your fingers just for a petty thing as looking at the time and the next you are heartbroken over an emotional scene from your inflight movie marathon. But that is nothing compared to the sickening feeling of a big bag of stones being sunk in your stomach. When your phone is gone.
Something Inside Dies
It is like a part of you is dying. Phase one: Denial. Surely the phone is in one of the pockets and you have temporarily lost all feeling or touch and that’s why it seems to not be physically manifest at all. And look, there are seat cracks, it might have just slipped through! Thank god, the floor is carpeted. This time I might love carpet, it keeps things from slipping. And it doesn’t feel so gross. And look, I found. Ew.
Phase 2: Anger. Why is this floor so littered and why did my fingers find every single crack in a one metre diameter and I have found all kinds of gross except the one thing I’m looking for, which is probably now gross as well by now. And why are these seats so small that I feel like they mixed some kind of Alice in Wonderland drink into my coke? And now I’m stuck brilliant. I’m just praying that the person in front of me won’t push back their seat. Oh wait, they can’t That’s why I’m stuck.
Phase 3: Bargaining. Please, just let me get out of this awkward position and I swear I will forsake this hopeless mission and resign to my fate of having to hunt down the most terrible phone in Cape Town there is to squeeze into my budget. No fancy dining on chicken wings, of course. Dammit. Maybe just one wing? How about I try to shift a little bit and you magically make the person un-recline the seat? Just give me a little something here, I’m trying hard!
Phase 4: Depression. Ooooohhoohhoonoooo. I’m stuck. I will never get out of this again. They will have to surgically remove me. Or maybe, everyone will wake up from my frantic motions and look at me with their stare of ‘shame on you, shouldn’t have stuffed yourself with onboard popcorn!’ My life is such a drama. Not even that. It’s like I’m watching a drama and the phone rings just about when the happy ending comes along and I realise it’s not a film about me and I am sitting in a sticky seat with a smelly arm-chair occupier next to me.
Phase 5: Acceptance. Ok. That’s it. I might become a comedian and make it all look like an improve joke. Yeah, that’s it. And ah, there you go. I made it back onto my seat with hitting just one knee. Perfect. Just quickly notify the stewardess who does a quick look with her little torch light. Nothing. Of course. Sayonara, phone. It was nice knowing you. And with an empty hole in my stomach and a blank mind I let myself fall back in my chair, arms dangling and head dropping…
Then all of a sudden I touch some dirt. In a new place. And look, there is something solid standing upright. Something smooth. Something like my phone. Ah, there you go. It was all a joke, after all. To make myself forget, why not tune in to some quiet tunes? So I turn on the music player and suddenly a half singing half reading of the Koran blasts into my unprepared ears. And I don’t know how to stop it. Of course. There goes my sleep. Yet again.