While I was in Los Angeles last week my cell phone died—the color screen went all white, and then the display came back but everything was backwards, and then it went all white again. It was a brand-new phone, one of these new beautiful slide phones, a Samsung. I hadn’t dropped it in water. I had dropped my previous phone in water, which was why I had a brand-new phone. The phone I dropped in water I’d only had for about three months. I got that when my previous phone—well, you remember.
Long story short, I had to get a loaner phone from T-Mobile while I was on vacation. I’d bought my latest phone from a T-Mobile dealer, not from a T-Mobile corporate retail location, so I couldn’t just walk in to a T-Mobile store in Los Angeles and exchange it. (Note to T-Mobile: This is retarded!) I had to get this grubby phone as a loaner while T-Mobile mailed me a new phone as well as an envelope to send my broken phone back in.
One of the many weird things about this phone is that not all of my numbers—stored on my SIM card—carried over. Another weird thing: The phone still has a bunch of text messages written to the guy who had it before me. His sent box is empty. But his inbox is full of messages—mostly messages from a girl. I’ve changed her name to Stephanie. I’ve changed his name to Tyler. Angela, Brad, and Adam are pseudonyms, too. Considering these people live far away from Seattle—in a small, sunny, affluent community called Oak Park, where everyone’s parents work in the entertainment industry or are lawyers (or are lawyers in the entertainment industry)—no one minds if I share the messages, do you? You would read them if T-Mobile gave you a loaner phone, wouldn’t you? Of course you would!
Children of privilege, fighting about their love life, over text messages, over two days. Notice the time stamps. Part of what’s fascinating is that you only get one side of the conversation. You gotta fill in what’s missing.
From Stephanie, May 16, 12:25 pm:
? That wasn’t mean. I just knew you wouldn’t be effected if we broke up. Thats part of the reason
From Stephanie, May 16, 12:29 pm:
I dunno i want to know what you want
From Stephanie, May 16, 2:32 pm:
From Stephanie, May 16, 6:15 pm:
From Stephanie, I think, but she’s texting from someone else’s phone, because just a random number comes up, May 16, 6:33 pm:
Not ne more
From Stephanie, still texting from that other number, May 16, 6:33 pm:
And now you’re lying. He told me he talked to you about it. From stephanie
From Stephanie, May 16, 8:00 pm:
So you’re too cool to think of me even once now?
From that other number [maybe it’s not Stephanie texting this time?], May 16, 8:03 pm:
Wow i feel bad but she did it you know
From that other number, May 16, 8:06 pm:
Hahaha are you stoned?
From that other number, May 16, 8:09 pm:
Yeee doww. Delete your txt i dont want to be stabbed
From that other number, May 16, 8:13 pm:
Haha what are you doing
From that other number, May 16, 8:15 pm:
Haha yee dow
From Stephanie, May 17, 8:32 am:
From Stephanie, May 17, 8:39 am:
Talk. To. Me.
From Stephanie, May 17, 8:43 am:
Say something! Do you like it like this!
From Stephanie, May 17, 8:51 am:
Answer! Do you??
From Stephanie, May 17, 8:52 am:
Cuz i don’t like it..
From Stephanie, May 17, 8:53 am:
Oh so.. That means you wanna stay broken up?
From Stephanie, May 17, 8:55 am:
So. I’d still rather be with you. Now its your turn to say what you want..
From Stephanie, May 17, 8:57 am:
Fuck you! Do you want me or no? !
From Stephanie, May 17, 10:55 am:
Oh my god and i totally forgot to tell you i ran into a mail box! Lol. How funny is that
From Stephanie, May 17, 11:16 am:
But i love you and i miss you
From Stephanie, May 17, 3:00 pm:
From Stephanie, May 17, 3:45 pm:
Don’t be like that. I didn’t want to break up with you. You don’t even give a shit so why are you mad?
From Stephanie, May 17, 3:48 pm:
Then lets stop baby. :) i love you.
From Stephanie, May 17, 3:49 pm:
Then lets stop baby. :) i love you.
[Yup, same message, one minute later.]
From Stephanie, May 17, 3:50 pm:
I don’t wanna be friends with you
From Stephaniee, May 17, 3:51 pm:
Be with me. Again. No fighting this time.
From Stephanie, May 17, 3:54 pm:
Whats a break
From Stephanie, May 17, 3:57 pm:
I don’t like breaks then. I’m not gunna just let you set me aside till you’re in the mood. All or nothing. Be with me and i’ll give you your space. You were being so perfect the last week so i need to be perfect back
From Stephanie, May 17, 4:01 pm:
Absolutely nothing. What did they say i said
From Stephanie, May 17, 4:12 pm:
What the fuck. Tyler stop being fucking immature and buying into oak park drama. If i wanted to ruin my OWN reputation you’re right i would make my boyfriend look bad by talking shit about him.. Come on. Uh. Buh.
From that other number, May 17, 4:50 pm:
Hey sorry what did you say back
From that other number, May 17, 4:53 pm:
Ha ha you are so funny. Text me later. Give adam my number so he can text me if he gets some shit
From that other number, May 17, 4:55 pm:
Yah i know i think she hung out with brad today
From Stephanie, May 17, 4:58 pm:
From Stephanie, May 17, 5:03 pm:
And you hump angela in front of everyone.. Kick it i don’t like him i like you
From Stephanie, May 17, 5:06 pm:
There is no drama
From Stephanie, May 17, 5:13 pm:
Wait are you kidding
From Stephanie, May 17, 10:02 pm:
Are you fucking kidding me.
From Stephanie, May 17, 10:10 pm:
You’re pathetic. I just wanted you to know.
From Stephanie, May 17, 10:15 pm:
Seriously [Tyler’s last name]. In the last half hour you made me realize that i wouldn’t care if you died.
From Stephanie, May 17, 5:17 pm:
Delete my number don’t talk to me anymore. Bye
From another person, not mentioned in any of the above texts, identified only by a first initial and last name, May 18, 9:48 am:
Should of came last night.