Madeline Cash: Hey Anika–what’s up? I’m eating an unwashed head of lettuce and crying on the phone with PayPal!
Anika Levy: Hi Mads–I just got a new set of acrylics so I’m having a hard time typing also the cat is pacing back and forth on my desk. But yeah women shouldn’t have access to their own bank accounts. I think we’re off to a great start.
MC: No one should be able to use PayPal unless they’re emotionally prepared to sit on hold for 2.5 hours with a man in Bangladesh.
AL: We talk on the phone every day and also you’re my only friend so I think we’re really well suited to the task.
MC: I agree! I love the phone. I truly have a healthy relationship with technology. I love sponsored content. I love tailored advertisements. It’s where I buy all of my ballet flats. And birth control. And how I find out about foreign wars.
AL: Are phone sex hotlines still a thing? I wanna call a phone sex operator and just read Baudrillard aloud for like an hour.
MC: Let me check. Nah it’s mostly camming. That sounds expensive ^
AL: Phone sex: it’s cheaper than grad school!! But yeah, it’s dangerous to read theory when you don’t have any money.
MC: Right. I caution against even having a credit card in 2022. That’s the year right? I have been thinking it’s 2018 lately. I guess that’s where I plateaued culturally.
AL: LOL–I feel like my whole sense of chronological time is totally dissolving.
MC: Trying to keep us on track; What is the first thing you open on your phone?
AL: My texts from the Forever girls. What about you?
MC: <3 yeah texts, then I will impulsively open Instagram and see all my friends from middle school getting married. The other day I DM’ed an ex like “I’m rich!” because I had gotten my tax refund and he was like “from your literary zine?” and really put me in my place. I also check our email and then I check the news.
AL: I’ve literally never read the news. When was the last time you had fun on your phone?
MC: I have fun on my phone every day. I love taking pictures of my skin up close. I love to clean and organize my apps like I’m gardening. I like the sounds they make.
AL: Love to stare pointlessly into my phone for hours to make myself feel bad on purpose. So weird how the photo app on iPhone will randomly decide to show you a picture of your cancelled ex-boyfriend or whatever now.
MC: Yes! My phone made a slideshow of my ex crushing lines of Adderall on a coffee table to that happy stock music. He’s in AA now. I’ll send it to you.
AL: Aw! Auggie!!! Big shouts. How old were you when you got a smart phone?
MC: Also “smart phone” what a funny term! I guess not ha ha funny… I was probably a junior in high school. First I had a Razr with the charms you get at the mall. Then I had a knock-off sidekick because I didn’t have T-mobile. Then I had a blackberry.
AL: OMG. I used to be so obsessed with getting a sidekick and I would constantly try to buy them cheap off of Craigslist with my allowance but I always got scammed. They always sold me a busted sidekick. It would be cool to get one now though. Who do you talk to on the phone besides me? I talk to my mom a lot…
MC: I talk to you, my mom and PayPal. Nick more and more but boys aren’t great at the phone. It’s really a feminine medium.
AL: Remember when we were kids and our parents were convinced that everyone else on the internet was like a rapist or a foot fetishist? And now like all of my friends are from Twitter.
MC: Yeah I wonder what the actual pedophile to child ratio was on AIM. The early aughts were all about the rapist > tween pipeline, like Chatroulette and that other one?
AL: AIM!!! Now there’s fertile ground. What was your away message? Mine was like “brrrrrb, shower :]” cuz I wanted my crush to picture me in the shower.
MC: That’s brilliant. No wonder you’re the one at the ivy league college. Mine was a quote from Harry Potter; “I solemnly swear I am up to no good” which negates any possibility that I was up to no good because I had watched/been significantly influenced by Harry Potter. Shot myself in the foot with that.
AL: You really weren’t up to any good!! As much as you fully believed your stuffed animals were sentient until you were seventeen, you also had a penchant for inhalants.
MC: Yeah I really loved my stuffed animals and computer duster. Oh, another phone thing I would do: I’d leave my blackberry at my friend’s house so, when my mom tracked me, it said I was at Gabby’s. But I was really at Spin the Bottle which is an LA relic. My Viper Room.
AL: Wow, Susan is such a tyrant. The only person who’s ever tracked my location is my boyfriend. And he’s not even my boyfriend; he’s like my captor. I hope when I go to heaven it’s just Spin the Bottle at the Roxy. I hope heaven is all ages. I hope they have iPhones in heaven.
MC: Remember you used to pretend to be a parent on the phone to placate my mom? Reader: Anika and I were also friends in high school! Isn’t that endearing? I think there will be iPhones in Heaven. Heaven is an operating system. When I was in middle school I had a hamburger phone like in Juno I bought from Urban Outfitters.
AL: That’s a killer away message—at Spin the Bottle—leave me a message on my hamburger phone.
MC: LOL. I think we pretty much summed up phones?
AL: Yeah I have to go do a sketchy deal involving the Chinese mafia so that PayPal doesn’t sell me into white slavery.
MC: Oh right, you’re in PayPal debt too!