Saturday, March 26, 2005

The Icon, Glowing

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 clamshell, activate the device, and gaze adoringly at her little similacrium glowing between gracefully cupped palms. With her face softly lit by the screen, she seemed to be a luminous being herself - her smile beatific as she read 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: her by her phone, and me by this tableaux of a pseudo- saint with her relic - a living icon, glowing.

By Professor Batty



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