Phone coda

During the movie, I thought I saw her – the iPhone girl. It was hard to tell in the darkened theater, but she had the dark hair, and the curve of her jeans as she sat down… except her hair was longer, and she wore narrow black-framed hipster glasses. I turned to the folk I sat with, and started to point her out, and tell the story, but they began the sing-along and I lost the chance.

I watched her during the show, from time to time. I grew less and less certain it was her, the same girl. But she was still attractive, and she laughed and sang along and she fit in with the rest of the crowd, as we all let our “Firefly” freak flag fly.

When the credits ran for the last show, and the house lights came up, and we all trudged down the stairs from the balcony, spilling out into the night, I spotted her again, and this time, she pulled out her cell phone. A normal, ordinary, non-sexy flip phone of some kind. Definitely her phone, and definitely not an iPhone. Not the same girl.

On the sidewalk, I said goodnight to my new friends, and walked behind the theater to get in my car. The dark-haired, jeans-wearing, hipster-glasses sporting, normal cell-phone having girl walked past me, with a taller brown-haired female friend.

I could hear the words in my head: “Excuse me, do you have an iPhone?” I didn’t say the words. I got in my car. I put the key in the ignition. I was moving very slowly. I turned the key. The engine started.

The girl and her friend leaned against their car, talking softly, nodding at each others’ words.

I put the car into reverse. Backed out of my spot. Rolled up beside them on my way out of the lot. The tires crunched in the gravel.

I pushed the window down button. I leaned forward. My eyes were probably deep in shade from the brim of my hat in the orange halogen light.

The words I’d imagined, the question I already knew the answer to, spilled from my mouth. “Excuse me, do you have an iPhone?”

The girl, so cool and collected when talking to her friend after midnight in the movie theater parking lot… scrunched up her face in surprise and let out a near-screech. “Whaaaaaaaaaaaat?!

I was smiling in embarrassment. “An iPhone? No?” From the fortress of my car I still felt vulnerable.

The dark-haired girl was mouthing the words of my question silently, shock having taken her voice.

Her friend, her back to me, glanced over her shoulder, rolled her eyes. “No,” she said in that parenting voice one uses with the slow of brain, “we don’t have an iPhone.” She seemed to be both annoyed with, and used to, her friend getting strange questions from men.

“I’m sorry, you looked like someone I’d… uh… seen… before.” I bowed my head in apology, raised the window again, and drove off, laughing at my strange sense of bravery. Or foolhardiness.


Thanks iPhone girl. I owe you one.