I was in London for a few days earlier this week and, as always, being away from the Motherland made me antsy.
Mainly because of The Big Buildings and All The People, but also because I am convinced that I am cursed and that a plague is poised to descend upon my house as soon as the train wheezes out of Darlington. (And not least because of the price of a plate of bacon and eggs: Ten pounds fifty, written like this: 10.5. I mean, come on!)
In my post-sudden death of husband angst, every time my phone wolf-whistled at me from my handbag I was convinced it was a text informing me that a key family member or beloved friend had been hospitalised or was deceased.
And news like that would come through via text – after all, it’s how I delivered news of Mark’s death to most of my friends. Which in retrospect seems heinously crass, but then, so is sudden death.
On hearing the whistle, I scrabbled about frantically among the receipts, bobbles and dog shit bags only to find it was my niece sending a picture of a puppy wearing a onesie entitled: ROFL!!!!
But aside from the terror induced by incoming messages, my phone also caused me to weep like Gazza this week with its tyrannous predictive text. Whilst searching for my Mother’s number (something I don’t have cause to do when I’m at home, bring that we’re attached at the hip), I entered the letter ‘M’ on the keypad. The phone helpfully suggested:
The number I had rehearsed for ten years came up on the little screen. I haven’t had the heart to erase it.
Erasing it, you see, indicates that you are somehow further towards the holy grail of Acceptance. But whilst my husband still exists on my phone and online, He continues to have a sort of metaphysical presence.
Which deluded as it may seem, is preferable to no presence at all.