I finally have a new phone, after only… more months than I care to admit without a working one.
The first time I knew that my phone was in trouble was last December, on the plane to Brazil; I took it out my pocket after the flight took off, and realized that the screen seemed to be separating from the rest of the phone. I was temporarily nervous about what this might mean, considering that I was flying to another country and suspected that I really might need my phone to get around, but as it turned out, I was wrong on two counts: The phone was working fine, despite the screen lifting slightly, and I didn’t need it nearly as much as I’d suspected.
I didn’t really think that much about why the screen was lifting. The phone was, after all, about seven or so years old by that point and had been through the wars. I put it down to my probably having done something to it while it was in my pocket; maybe I sat down weirdly, or bumped it, or something. It was, I told myself, no big deal.
Months later, as the screen continued to lift away from the rest of the phone seemingly by itself, I decided to Google why that might be happening; the answer, as it turned out, was that the battery in the phone was off-gassing and in danger of turning into a bomb. Upon learning this admittedly disturbing fact, I did the most obvious thing: I turned the phone off and decided to get myself a new phone as soon as possible.
That was… at some point at the start of the summer, I think…? I can’t remember. Suffice to say, I didn’t actually get myself a new phone as soon as possible; instead, I accidentally started an experiment called, “Do I really need a phone, anyway?” (The answer is, kind of, but I did okay using Google Voice for the most part.)
Nonetheless, I now have a new phone, and I feel remarkably, stupidly excited and fancy about this turn of events. Next big thing: actually using it.
If there’s one thing I remember from this selection of graphics from THR‘s weekly newsletter, it’s how happy I was with the text from the Meg 2 graphic at the very bottom; it was a last-minute graphic with not a lot of time available to get it right, and I remembered just how well I deal with things when I don’t have time to overthink everything. There’s a lesson for life in there somewhere, but I’m going to choose to ignore it.
I’ve been thinking recently about secondhand nostalgia. It’s a weird concept that I’m having trouble articulating properly, but essentially it comes down to feeling a surprising nostalgia for things that you weren’t really present for in the first place, and have no firsthand knowledge of.
This comes from re-reading a comic from the mid-1970s the other day, and realizing that there’s something very powerful to me not only about the story in the comic — which, I hasten to add, is not a particularly good story — but the ephemera surrounding it; the ads, the editorial material, and even the graphic design of the entire package.
The thing is, I wasn’t reading comics when this particular comic came out; I wasn’t even reading when it was published. I was just two years old, and I lived in a different country altogether, so the idea that I passively picked up some of the visual cues from somewhere else in my life at the time. (If nothing else, I’m not sure two-year-olds really notice a lot of graphic design in the first place, especially not passively; I could be wrong, though.)
It’s possible that I’m actually nostalgic for the situation in which I first read said comic — which, in this case, was finding it amongst a pile of comics in a used bookstore in Glasgow’s West End, during a Christmas break from high school, and being thrilled that it was so goofy and so affordable, all of which feels like something that I really have every right to be nostalgic about, to be honest — but I really don’t think that’s it. My affection, my feeling of time-gone-by enniu, is specifically tied to the mid-1970s, and the circumstances it first appeared in, despite my inability to have any claim to that in any legitimate sense.
Is it entirely imagined, then? Am I over-romanticizing something that I’m just making up in my head? Perhaps — but it feels real, nonetheless, this silly affection for a time and a place I never was.