The things we gather

One of these days, I have to get my phone fixed.

The old one, I mean. My old iPhone, my first iPhone, the one that I'm pretty much set to pass to my brother, provided I get my ass off whatever I'm sitting on and head to the repair store to have it fixed.

It's been with me for a good two years and I've pretty much battered it. There are the drops, yes. But then there are the other things. The sleep button needs to be replaced. My particular unit is covered by some free replacement program, as that button was an issue, it turns out, so there's that. Also, the battery needs to be replaced. It doesn't last as long as it used to, and is likely the reason why I replaced it with its newer cousin.

I was on a ship going to Cebu a couple of months back - the usual night job thing - and I went to sleep with my phone plugged in. It's been a long day and I wasn't sure if I'd be able to charge when the ship docks. I woke up and, for some reason, the phone was off, and I couldn't turn it on.

Crap. There must've been a power surge or something.

I really couldn't turn it on. It's not because the sleep button is pressed in too deep. I plug it in different power outlets - on the ship; of course the ship has that - and nothing. I came to the realization that, if I really wanted to meet Nat during my free time in the city, I'll have to buy myself a new phone.

Yes, that sounds like stupid thinking, but I assume I rationalized it well enough to convince everybody that it's not, well, stupid thinking. I'm on the market for a new phone anyway, I told everyone. And I was, but then again, I had to get my ass off whatever I'm sitting on and head to some store to buy it. (Well, I had to decide whether I wanted to extend my contract or just buy something outright.) But now, I really didn't have much of a choice... only I was in a relatively strange city.

"Paano pumunta ng Ayala Center mula dito?" I asked the ladies looking after the repair store at the mall adjacent to my hotel.

"14D," one of them answered.

One, the jeepneys in Cebu have route numbers. Two, I don't want to get lost. I took a cab instead. A good hour later, I finished my purchase, burdening myself with six months of no savings. Despite all that, Nat and I couldn't make our schedules match - she was in some far flung island when I arrived, as it turns out - so we had to defer that meeting for another time. As we always do.

I got back to Manila on Sunday night - via plane this time - and, just for the heck of it, tried to open my old phone. It switched on. It worked. And it didn't die since.

Yeah, I know.

But it's been sitting on the living room for two months now, waiting for the time when I get my ass off whatever I'm sitting in and head to the repair store to have it fixed. But first, I had to back everything up.

I don't put a lot of things on my phone. There are a few videos there, the usual mix of films and television shows that I watch when I have the time or have nothing else ro do. There are audio recordings, which only Lau would understand. And then there are photos. Lots of them. A good four gigabytes of them. That's a lot of photos for two years.

Well, most of them I have transferred to my PC. Photos of Hong Kong, photos of early dates, photos of solo art exhibits. The ones left behind were scraps - bits accumulated from bouts of inspiration, or amusement, things that I say I'll tweet out whenever I'm within shot of a decent Internet connection. But more often than not, I don't. I forget about it, my head occupied by some train of thought that just wouldn't stop chugging along. Or maybe I have tweeted it out, and then not deleted it.

There are photographs of drinks where the barista spelled my name correctly. There are photographs of kids in the street, taken from the comfort of a car. There are bears, and sheep, and minions - not the real thing, all of them. There are attempts at artsy shots, often from Rainy, streaks of light that don't often work, and are often rejected to just sit on my phone. There are fruit stickers, magazine spreads, stealth CD covers. There are screen grabs and accidental screen grabs.

I don't know what they are doing there now, all six gigabytes of them - yep, six, not four. Six. All backed up, nicely, in some folder, still left to be forgotten until I decide I need to get back to it, which is, well, a day like today, because I had to write about it.

How many things have we gathered and then forgotten about?

And your responses...

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