Andy White

Andy White

Thirsty Ear recording artist

I can still see the arc of the mobile phone. The curve it cut through the air, spinning round like a slo-mo of a bullet or a public information film showing the progress of a cruise missile through a target-rich environment.

The lake was still, since its surface was frozen solid. The ducks huddled at the edge of the ice, the snow falling faster now that the evening was coming down. I can still see the arc of the mobile phone as it cut through the wintry air, carrying with it the promise of news from a crucial call.

I can still hear the noise of the mobile phone as it started to ring in mid-air, at the halfway point of its arc through the early evening blizzard. I can still hear its tone set to “Annoyingly Loud,” the choice of ringing sound being an electronic approximation of Wagner’s “Ride of the Valkyries.” I can still hear the first few notes sounding as the phone disappeared into the fluffy white distance.

I can still feel the hollow in my stomach as I watched the mobile phone fly through the air and start to ring. I can still feel the overwhelming sense of loss brought upon by the cracking sound as the phone split the ice and descended into the murky waters of the lake. Still ringing.

If Apocalypse Now is remade for the new century, the helicopters can be replaced by a mobile phone flying through the air, calling its owner with an electronic approximation of Wagner’s “Ride of the Valkyries,” scaring hell out of the ducks below.

For the arc of the mobile phone was not caused intentionally. It did not fly through the air on purpose. Your honor, it was an accident. Caused both manually and accidentally. For it was my fault. I was trying to feed the ducks by throwing the bread as far out into the lake as I could. The phone was in my pocket, awaiting the crucial call. Expectant. Fully-charged. Then — suddenly — it was flying through the crisp December air on its last journey to marine oblivion.

Assuming coverage is as good as is claimed — to a depth of 10 meters — and the battery as long-lasting as it is claimed to be — several weeks — I often give the number a call. I hope to surprise passing sea anemones, stray angel fish, or even the odd small shark, with the first few notes of its annoyingly loud — now extremely watery — ringing tone.

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