Just Saying

Tortured and torn over a terribly X iPhone

Hi, iPhone X. I see you. You're there in the shop. I see you every time I get off the bus coming home.

You sit there all nonchalant, like you don't know I'm staring at you. How could I not? You know it, and you like it. Though you pretend you don't.

Sometimes, I pray that the bus won't come too soon so I can linger - yes, I know it's creepy, and it's our fault. You've reduced me to a low, skulking beast, desperate and confused.

You pretend you can't see my eyes fixed on you. But I know that with your front-facing TrueDepth camera capable of tracking 30,000 points projected onto my face by the infrared emitter, you see me better than anyone.

You can measure my nose-to-ear tip distance, but can you sense my desire?

I could snatch you up right away and take you home. But - and there's always a but, isn't there, my love? - something keeps you there, imprisoned. It's that thin steel cable fixed to your back. It's strong. I know because I tested it. But there's something else that stops you from being mine.

Does my misery make you happy, my cruel beauty? I could drown you in my tears, but you wouldn't care - your IP67 waterproof resistance rating allows for a dunking of not more than 30 minutes.

The stolen moments we have, when some other guy lets go of you, causing me to snatch you up with such force it startles him - I treasure them, but they are fleeting, like the period between new model launches and when the "S" version comes out.

As I walk about my luxurious apartment, fingering ornaments and gewgaws and objet d'art that a life of talent and hard work has afforded me, inside I feel nothing of the pleasure I used to feel - it's as if all joy had vanished, like your home button.

My fine brandy tastes flat, in a bad way, not in a good way, like your perfectly featureless glass face, unblemished by that unsightly button. I can't look at the home buttons on other phones now - the dimpley roundness, that loathsome crater, a yawning gap open to the insertion of any random greasy fingertip - it fills me with disgust.

They're not like you and your inscrutable exotic blankness. I look at you and I don't know where I should begin my caress - your pure slab-like exterior does not invite the touch, least of all, the touch of the bumbling novice.

One finger or two? Three finger swipe to the left? One lights you up, the other shuts you down cold, but which is which? I can't tell, and maybe no one can. Maybe it doesn't matter. One thing I know: It only makes me want you more.

I could go on living my life without you, believe that it's as full as it used to be. But now there's a hole in it, 70.9mm wide and 143.6mm long and as deep as the Mariana Trench.

How long must this sweet torture go on? It takes every bit of strength I have to keep myself from walking to the cash register and taking you home - but I must not.

Because what will happen next is something that happened to all my crazy, impetuous relationships - it will burn bright, oh so bright, for a few days. Then, like your 3.5mm headphone jack, it will go away for no reason that makes any damn sense at all.

Maybe it is because I crave you too much, and have dreamt too many impossible dreams. When I hold you and see you, really see you, I see the things about you that have stayed hidden behind your stunning glass and stainless steel exterior.

Yes I am aware that you have, erm, quirks. Don't be angry, my love, you know it as well as I do - you've been dazzling everyone so long that even you have begun to believe your own fantasy version of yourself.

But this I must tell you: Someone else did wireless charging. Long ago. I'm sorry.

The truth must sting, but it is how we grow and I pray, grow to have a serious, mature relationship.

Once I have you, you will want gifts lavished on you - fine cases, screen protectors. The final insult? Your fast-charging brick is an extra.

It hurts me as much as it must hurt you for me to say this but here goes: You are a bit expensive. By a bit, I mean for what you bring, what you are asking is nutjob-flat earth conspiracy-911-was-an-inside-job crazy.

Yet for all that, I still want you. The year is ending and with the closing of chapters comes a melancholy, and with that, a madness. You are, and will be, the mad, unsafe, irresponsible choice, but the image of you will haunt my dreams - in Super Retina HD True Tone Colour.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on December 03, 2017, with the headline 'Tortured and torn over a terribly-X iPhone'. Print Edition | Subscribe