This is a post about a charming singer and my iPhone:
Quite how I came to have a record by Jenny Lewis I do not know. But there it is.
Maybe I picked it up after I had heard her version of ‘Handle with care’ on the radio. Her solo album (upon which Handle with care features) is entitled ‘Rabbit Fur Coat‘. It was released in 2006; and that was the year in which I acquired the record. So, on and off, I’ve listened to it for the last 12 years. I like her version of ‘Handle with care’: it should be an anthem for anyone who feels that they have been mistreated (badly).
Anyway, I have just discovered that Jenny Lewis is a ‘barf bag poet’. I do not know what a barf bag poet is – but it doesn’t matter. Except, Jenny Lewis is also a storyteller and in consequence, words are important to her; so, for her to say that she is a ‘barf bag poet’ must have some significance.
In a recent article I was told that plainly Jenny Lewis is ‘witty and engaging and curious – about the world, about relationships and how phones affect us all.’
And this is what she went on to say about iPhones – which is where I come into the picture:
‘Looking at a phone is like reading someone’s mind,’ she says. ‘So their mind is just sitting out on the table when they’re not in the room … So tempting.’
But has she ever succumbed to that temptation? ‘Oh yes,’ she says. ‘It’s such an invasion of privacy, but also, sometimes, a necessity.’
However, her looking at the content of another person’s phone hasn’t always ended well; she admits this in her song ‘Taffy’, a ballad from her latest album, ‘On the Line.’ With reference to secretly looking into her partner’s phone the song includes the words:
‘As I looked through your phone – I am such a coward – How could you send her flowers?’
And so, her curiosity about her partner’s phone led her to discover his infidelity: there it was, spelled out in digital clarity. The discovery was as she says: ‘very painful,’ but she adds:
‘I didn’t look [at his phone] because [I thought that] there was nothing in there. I knew something was in there and I found it.’
The strange thing is that I have an iPhone upon which there is virtually nothing. I have the phone a) just in case I have a stroke or a heart attack b) for when I need travel directions (although I have yet to go anywhere) and c) kept close to me when I’m painting – and my wife is out-and-about in her car; it’s there in case she breaks down or some crisis emerges. Most of the time my phone is switched off. So if Jenny Lewis found my phone what ‘sense’ would she make of my mind? I wish I could let her have it and discover how she would use it as evidence concerning the nature of my psyche – or use it in order to begin a conversation with her. That would be terrific.
Incidentally, Jenny Lewis is very attractive. The cover of her latest album bears testament to that fact. What’s more her song ‘Red Bull and Hennessy‘ is wonderful. I’m playing it as I paint a portrait of Kurt Cobain.