Tuesday, June 06, 2006

A Sentimentalist and His Samsung

I've always been sentimental -- I keep letters, pictures, program guides from long-ago, school assemblies. Yet in the digital age, keepsakes can be much harder to hold. A few clicks of a mouse or an errant "delete" button, and something precious vanishes.

I had the feeling for my Samsung cell phone lately. It notes the last 20 calls that are incoming, outgoing, and missed. Since almost all my calls involve people already listed in the phone's contacts section, the call records give me a quick scan of the important people in my life, whom I call repeatedly. Making the list is easy; getting deleted almost impossible.

The calls from Tieta, a woman with whom I've had an tortured on-and-off friendship for over a year, duly showed up in the log, last name first name. After we struck up our friendship again in March, our calls were regular so her name peppered the call lists, both incoming and outgoing. Then they fizzled down to nothing, and in dismay I watched Tieta's name slip lower and lower in the list as other calls came and went. Still, as long as I could check incoming calls and see she really did call me at 3:56 pm on Friday May 19, I had a tiny, silly way of telling myself that, yes, we had contact.

Then on Monday, a friend called and pushed Tieta off the list, from 20th most recent call to oblivion. I had to mourn the moment, which I knew had to arrive. One fragment of a fragment of a fragile relationship vanished, and I do not know if it will ever be replaced by another call that puts Tieta back on the top of the call list.

This time around, at least, I'm not deleting her name from the contacts list. I'm leaving it there, for sentimental reasons.

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