Last night, I fell asleep with my iPhone, cradled in my hand. I am not ashamed to admit it- this was not the first time. In fact, my smart phone has been my most consistent bed partner for a number of years. Most nights I drift off gently in its cool glow while reading- books, blogs, or how-to articles, writing- emails, texts, and snippets of my thoughts and dreams, researching- all things I have any interest in, or simply lulling me from my current consciousness with guided meditations, subliminal programming, and binaural beats. Other times, I have fallen asleep clinging to its cold, hard, case because it was my only tangible connection to everything dear to me. Gazing into a picture on a glossy 2×3 screen- the only source of light in my world, willing it to bring me just one word from my beloved, and just as often wishing he would stop disturbing my studies with his insults, threats, and false accusations… But that was not my smartphone’s fault, so I always resisted the urge to throw it across the room. I also learned to change the ring tone when I found that the text notification alarm was triggering anxiety attacks due to the sheer number of times I heard that noise and was subsequently accosted psychologically: We are all Pavlov’s dogs.
I don’t believe we choose who we fall in love with; that is a different and quite often sad story, often with an even sadder ending. Somehow, though, there are things that we fall in love with, and that love becomes part of our identity and personality for right or wrong, good or evil… I’m not judging here, I’m just making observations.
Early in my life I fell in love with reading, because it gave me a greater, more beautiful understanding of this world than the life that I was forced to live would ever allow me to see. Therefor books became my favorite companions. This naturally grew into a love of learning in general, which on the surface seems like a good thing but as with a coin, you flip it over and there’s that other, *tails* side. In the case of the love of knowledge and understanding: no one likes a know-it-all. Personally, I think it’s because the less knowledgeable can’t bullshit too much before they get called out. Books, on the other hand, put all their information out there and you are welcome to reference them against other books until you can come to a logical conclusion about a subject.
I collected a lot of books over the years about everything that caught my interest that grew into a rather large library which I referenced almost daily. Frequent relocation has caused me to reduce my library significantly, which is difficult for a bibliophile- I don’t think about it because it still hurts. My only consolation through the whole ordeal was my smart phone, which really had to step up.
Computers weren’t very fun when I was a kid, so I didn’t take much notice. When you are 10, you can only think up so many swear words or insults to program a commodore to scroll across the screen before somebody gets offended, chaos ensues, and everyone gets sent outside. A dozen years later, I married a computer geek and he had me exploring the new-fangled Internet within the year… Computing still wasn’t very impressive, people. Waiting several minutes for your dial-up connection (which is accessing a server in some guy’s basement!) to load each page of text was an excruciatingly painful demonstration of how to waste time. I suspect all that waiting was the problem which caused the birth of those weird, squishy stress relieving objects cluttering desks in the 90’s. I did enjoy writing at the computer more than in the piles of pages and notebooks I kept poems, journals, and lists in because it could be organized so neatly. Books were still my preferred way of gathering information in spite of my delight over the option to purchase an entire collection of 100s of books on cd for pennies on the dollar compared to real, live, books, with even greater space savings- but the lack of titles was disappointing, and I couldn’t curl up in bed with that bulky computer.
It’s not so much that I’m lazy, as I have a hard time sleeping… Actually, more like a hard time falling asleep, and often more so going back to sleep. I think this is partly due to some left over childhood rebellion I don’t like to sleep. I’m nearly terrified of sleeping if I think about it very much, and I have a lot of reasons.
1. You have no idea what is going on around your body when you are sleeping. That one reason should be enough to convince anyone.
2. You can’t multitask when you are sleeping, you pretty much have to stop being productive and thoughtful altogether. It seems like a waste of time.
3. People who take sleeping pills are 4x more likely to die. Which supports my theory that sleep is overrated.
4. Dreams. WTF? A way for your subconscious mind to torture your conscious mind when you are unconscious. I don’t know which is worse, having them or trying to analyze them no matter what their mood and content.
5. Most of my life, from the time I was a very young child, I eased my loneliness and fear of sleeping by imagining I was holding my beloved. I only got to do that in real life a handful of times, in the grand number of days in a life, and now the entirety of my being aches when I remember how good it felt to wrap myself around his warm back and bury my face in his curls because the reality was so much sweeter than dream.
6. Sleeping is like pretending to be dead. That bit of it creeps me out just a little.
Years of dealing with my aversion to sleep and automatic 4am alarm clock has taught me reading and writing are two things a person can do in the middle of the night that do not disturb the rest of the house.
When affordable laptops eventually hit the market, I fell in love again. This time technology seduced me and my quest for the most useful data storage device began. My first notebook probably weighed 10 pounds and did not have a color display. Now, I could read and write just about anywhere, as long as there was a nearby outlet, because 20 minute battery life is a bummer, as were some of the other internals of that flat, black, box with a 3.5 floppy drive to back up your work. I wrote a book which disappeared into the digital abyss. Subsequent devices have swallowed journals, pictures, a business plan, poetry, and notes I took on all those books I read!
It’s been a long journey with many upgrades. The technology has shrunk down to a few ounces I can fit in the palm of my hand with the ability to capture, store, and review all my favorite books, pictures, and music as well as neatly store and retrieve anything I need to write down. It is literally my dream come true. I dreamed of and wished for this technology every day until God made Steve Jobs invent it for me. He then threw in access to almost the entirety of human knowledge in seconds…plus apps- tiny computer programs that often cost less than $5 and actually help you improve the quality of your life! Thanks God <3
I must confess my iPhone has taken to the side table at night in recent months. I was given a hand-me-down iPad and its giant screen is so much easier on the eyes. Also, I’m not expecting any messages and my phone obliges me with zen-like silence.
This is why I fell asleep with my phone last night:
I was given this adorable phone case as a post Xmas gift, or “Congratulations, you survived another apocalypse and/or the holidays” gift from Z.
I grin every time I see it’s book-likeness lying around my house and realize that miniature tome is my phone! Only in my imagination could you combine so many of my favorite things so flawlessly. I giggle when I think of its new disguise making it appear that I’m browsing an old book as I walk through the grocery store checking my shopping list. Since it also contains slots for a few cards and cash, it is all I have to grab to leave the house, which scratches that other itch of not wanting to carry a purse, when all I need is my phone and my wallet but feel like a dork cramming them in my pockets. And…
It smells like leather!
Book Book, I love you.