The Pink Screen


I’d been staring at my phone for the past four hours. You would think I was upto something naughty, maybe chatting up some broad. Only there were no giggles or smiles or googly eyes or me walking unexpectedly into a busty lady making profuse apologies dotted with ‘damn those are large’ thoughts.
It was just me blankly staring into my phone watching the pink screen do it’s thing. I had bated breath, I was trying to be patient, I was trying to tighten my grip on my sanity but I was losing – badly. You know how you have an itch but can’t get to it? The kind that pop out of nowhere and attack your nether region smack in the middle of a meeting and your hands are clasped together in front of you so you try to wiggle in your chair hoping maybe the soft cushioned seats would offer you the reprieve you need? You question your choice of underwear and ask yourself if they make any coarser boxers that would do your bidding when you moved around. Your mind wanders and lingers on the itch such that you don’t hear your name being mentioned. You look up to see a group of men and women in suits looking at you with expectation and somewhat amusement due to your absent mindedness. You clear your throat and ask “Excuse me, I didn’t catch that” looking at no one in particular because you don’t know who said what. They let it go because you’re brilliant at what you do and they agree that sometimes brilliance comes at the price of awkwardness. You take the time to stand up wiggling in your pants like you’re about to pull a Beyoncé dance routine but the itch keeps evading you and you end up looking like a baby giraffe that is about to twerk.

It was just a few days ago and this brilliant invention called wifi decided that my apps needed updating.  Not such a big deal, I mean they usually make them better. who doesn’t like things better? Look at Vera and her set of double whatever letter you’d use to describe them – to her bigger was better and I can’t really argue with her. For a better part of my college life she was my whatsapp chat wallpaper. She graced my screen and got me weird glances whenever the nosy types peeped over their shoulders to stare into my phone as I typed away in a matatu. I hated her skin lightening but had no problem with her augmentation – the infamous double standard. See what I did?

It was supposed to be routine, the apps update and I use my phone – the usual. The first notification for an update came in while I was in the elevator. See I don’t have the luxury of wireless internet where I abode though sometimes I catch the neighbors signal in my notification bar. It pops up conspicuously taunting me and testing my resolve. I’ve always wanted to go to their house and knock and ask for a cup of sugar laugh and say I’m joking give me your wifi password instead. But it would be counter productive, I’d spend hours next to their wall where the signal is stronger half hoping they don’t step out and I have to explain what I’m doing leaned up against a wall with one hand in the air waving side to side and a power bank cable hooked to the phone streaming down into my shirt pocket. I’d maybe come up with a theory how power banks work best in the open where humidity is higher and that the breeze helps in boosting it’s charging capacity and standing next to a wall grounds the electricity it produces stating a cooked up law by a cooked up scientist.

Chances are I might look smart. Downside is I might have to explain to my parents why the neighbors are always standing at the wall with one hand raised in the air waving side to side with a power bank cable hooked to the phone streaming into their shirt pockets. This would result to an even bigger lie and the cycle would continue and on my wedding day I’d have to convince my bride that my parents are not really crazy. But then I can’t tell her the truth because she’d think I’m a good liar so I’d also have to lie to her and when we go visit the folks after months of marriage, see her take foil wrapped presents because it’s in “our” culture. Then I’d have to tell my parents that we’re not really broke but she’s just new to the whole gift business and thought foil paper was a gift wrapper.  I’ll look at the old man and sigh “women!” and he’ll nod his head in acknowledgement  and I’ll grit my teeth hoping I don’t have to conjure up another lie. 

So, anyway I got off the elevator and as soon as the signal was three bars strong the updates commenced. I didn’t even pay much attention to them I just threw the phone on my desk and went on about my daily routine. An hour later an idea struck – kind of like lighting but not really like lightening because they always hit the same place and they don’t kill me. First thing I do is pick up my phone open up my note app and jot down. The thing, the app, the devil had decided to log me out of my account. I wasn’t sure I remembered the password because ironically it was saved in the notes. I somehow figure it all out and  it tells me it will be only a few minutes before it syncs up and everything is good to go. Do apps have gender? They should, because this one was female.  A few minutes turned into a few hours which then turned into a few days and for three days I could not get access to my writing. I was locked out of my own world. The world as I knew it was over. There was no trumpet in the distance, or a snooty angel with pristine wings summoning the good people to toa banquet in the clouds. There was nothing but a stupid app stuck on the same screen. This is what it must feel when a billionaire has their accounts frozen for embezzlement charges and they have to sell a yacht and a lamborghinni to buy a pair of socks.

I was a mess. The lure of other apps was strong. I was brooding in the appstore like a scorned lover looking over reviews trying to find a solution until, I settled on a new app – evernote. The reviews were nothing but sterling. I felt this was the best way to get back at my previous app. Sweet revenge, oh sweet revenge. I get the app, and after it’s installed I do one last check on my previous app and voilà it’s finally done. It had to wait till I got a new app to do its job. It’s that app that doesn’t want to see me happy.  It wants me to be miserable and cry and stay in an abusive relationship and not leave. It’s the jealous ex always checking what I’m up to with its background processes accessing my data and randomly sending it back to the developer. Me? I move on. To prove it? I wrote this on the new app. Oh the sweetness of revenge.


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