SMASH: VW’s "Death of the Moth" + New ‘Color’ App Lets You Stalk People Having More Fun Than You
Virginia had grown weary. Or, rather, she had grown bored. After a full morning of jotting and scribbling in the leather notebook, her mind was ready for some sort of break—a little diversion—before she could send herself back into the world of story. Tapping her pencil. Scratching her nose. Anything, anything…
She should take a moment to write something on the Twitter, but despised it for feeling so unpleasantly forced. That day last week, in her agent’s office, when she was told it was all in the interest of building an audience— “Please, Virginia, just take 30 seconds to type out a tweet each day. You’re a prolific writer. You can come up with a Tweet in less than a minute, I bet.” It didn’t seem too onerous when she agreed. It was a small but powerful regret.
Her thoughts turned to the world outside the window. The ploughman, the rooks, the horses. And in the foreground, the silliest little moth against the window pane. It was quite the sight, that view. It would actually make a nice photo. Maybe she could take a snapshot of it with her mobile, and upload that as the “tweet of the day?” Yes, a loophole!
Out slipped the new iPhone (also from her agent, naturally) and with surprising acuity for such a lagging technology adopter, Virginia framed the iPhoto with deftness and with care. A click, a zip, and there it was in the tiny photo gallery, ready to upload.
But then came the confusion. A fizzle, a brew of sliding and colours and sounds. Virginia’s clammy finger drew a zig-zag of sweat lines across the cellphone’s screen. It flashed again. She was in difficulties; she could no longer direct the telephone’s applications; her fingers struggled vainly.
(Leonard laughed to himself quietly as he observed from the doorway— One could only watch the extraordinary efforts made by her sticky fingers against an oncoming doom which could, had it chosen, have submerged an entire city, not merely a city, but masses of human beings. Nothing, he knew Virginia was thinking, had any chance against technology. Which was, to her, the same thing as death.)
Then, her body relaxed a little. The struggle was over. Leonard was sure she had given up.
But if he had seen it—what appeared on her screen, what transfixed the writer most strangely— he would have been impressed and a little jealous.
Virginia gawped at the explosion of snapshots appearing before her in tiny little forms: pictures of the rooks, the horses, her own house, the ploughman’s wife and dog. So many tiny beads of life. A picture-board of shared realities, with the man she only knew from her view out the window. Now, here, on her strange little mobile phone.
A wave of relief, as she felt its emotional potential. And having righted herself, sat most decently and uncomplainingly composed. O yes, she seemed to say, death is stronger than I am.