My friend asks me “Do you think I will always be like this?”
“Like what” I say, looking up from my laptop as she stands at the hob, with a spitting pan.
“Be so ditzy. Though I don’t like saying ditzy, it’s gendered”
I consider this for a moment. Ditzy. Not breaking up the pre-cooked rice before she puts it in the pan. Reporting her debit card stolen and then finding it in her room. My reaction is not to consider her. But of course, to consider myself.
Freshers’ Week has unveiled my own layer of ‘ditz’. Freshers’ Week for non-freshers is a thrillingly passive-aggressive experience. Suddenly, I find myself with a moody face as I enter the JCR, accentuating my heels so they tip tap tip tap, young freshlings rearing their heads to follow the face of a moody stranger in an oversized coat. My deportment is serious. And each time, I leave the room know- ing that I have achieved ‘prick’. But, underneath, moody-student-who-knows-her-way-round-the-college- better-than-you is a certain ditz-a-matazz.
Skip back a few days. Three tea lights, a folded up notelet with ‘R.I.P’ scrawled on it, and a carefully selected fridge word magnet placed upon my phone later (‘betray’), I had my shrine. Pie Jesu (the John Brunning version of course) set to play and the lights flicked off, I drag a few friends into my room. It broke, I said. They look at me with slightly curious expressions, snapchatted it, and left.
Three hours later, as the tea lights suckled the last mouthfuls of wax from their plates, I had a thought. No, it’s not that sort of revelatory realisation — not “I DON’T NEED A PHONE!” No, I’ve not become a gap-yah extraordinaire or torn all sources of technology and brand from my newly cleansed soul. Instead, I realised that I have no way of telling the time.
The following day I go to Argos. (Argos!) I buy a watch, and one of those crazy-disco-ball-rotating-things (Don’t argue with the necessity). And then I head home. And I think I’m sorted. I don’t need a phone! Look at me. I smugly accidentally turn onto Cornmarket. As I try and mask my necessary U-turn with a faux-phone-call I stumble. No phone. With King Lear-esque poignancy I cry, “Damn you iPhone!” as the rain pelts against my helpless body, beating a rhythm against my chest. All is lost.
As I raise my arm in the shower later and remember my newly-bought Argos watch, currently being drenched, I realise this is going to take some getting used to. Time-less, dignity-less, lecture-less (no alarm clock). The keys-wallet-phone check as I leave the house still spikes me.
I wonder… I wonder whether I’m doomed.