I’m standing on cliff overlooking the ocean in Mexico. I compulsively flip to my iPhone’s front camera to take a selfie. Click. Click.
Then it happens. Something large and dark obscures my vision, and pain shoots through my right hand as my phone – and a fair amount of skin – is torn away. I let out a short, sharp shriek and stagger backward, clutching my hand. A bird the size of a large eagle had taken a fancy to my shiny phone and attempted to retrieve it. Unfortunately for the bird, the phone slipped through its talons and, to my horror, fell INTO THE FUCKING OCEAN. Now I’m standing on the cliff, holding my injured hand and crying from shock. I would like to say that I don’t ever cry, but I cry all the time. Sad movies, proposal videos and commercials that may not even be sad or even inspiring make me tear up. Yesterday I cried while watching Eight Below, a children’s movie about dogs.
My phone is now in the rocky shallows of the Pacific ocean. My hand is ribboned with shallow gouges from large talons, and I’m crying. This is where I might mention that there were several hundred other people on this beach. So now I’m an adult woman standing in a crowd of sunburnt tourists, crying.
I did recover my phone – not my dignity – but it took weeks of rehab and apologies and encouragement for it to open up to me again.
It was then that I discovered the photograph. The last on my camera roll. I had been taking “live” photos that day on the beach. First I didn’t think much of it, but then the image shifted. My smiling face blurred, and the image became a swirl of color as the phone began its forced free fall into space.