Saturday, March 26, 2005

The Glowing Icon

Honolulu

As is increasingly common in most parts of the modern world, cell phones are ubiquitous, and even more so on the hyper-developed Waikiki strip. Its parks, beaches, sun and surf have become a backdrop to the rituals of the cell phone users. The little hunch of the shoulders, the examination of the tiny screen, taking the user away from the current reality. At night the little blue beacon would pop up here and there, with a call or message, or even a photo shared among friends.

At the Tiki Bar and Grill, one finely dressed and deeply tanned young woman would, from time to time, open her shiny clam shell, to activate the device then gaze adoringly at the little similacrium glowing between her gracefully cupped palms. Her face, softly lit by the screen, was that of a luminous being—an angel—her smile was beatific as shes canned her little messages. Were they from some lover across the world? Or perhaps it was just a girlfriend on the other side of the bar, with plans for the evening. Transfixed: a woman with her phone and me, by this tableaux of a pseudo-saint with her relic, a living, glowing, icon.

By Professor Batty



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