Ah, the iPhone, near ubiquitous accessory of the hipster elite and tech obsessed, it seems to be everywhere. When I first arrived at the Catacombs I expected to see the vile object somewhere in its vast warrens, and prepared myself to deal with people intently glazing the surfaces of tiny screens with their filthy finger oils, not bothering to make eye contact. I was not to be disappointed. In fact, one of the first sights to greet me upon my arrival was that of Miss Ebb. She was in an alcove off the main hall. The entryway had no door, but in its stead a yellowed and moldy sheet was hung. This was pulled to the side and I could see Zo sprawled upon a filthy mattress; a soiled nightgown, which at one time may have been white but had long ago darkened to a grimy beige, clinging to her emaciated frame. Her loyal servant girl, Jing Hua, knelt in stoic silence at her side, tending an enormous, ornately carved opium pipe. The odor coming from that alcove smelled of the drug and sweat and urine, all combining into a faint but unmistakable scent, like death.
Zo was gazing languidly at her phone’s screen and it was several seconds before she noticed me. Slowly raising her head she looked at me through half-closed eyes and from her chapped and crusted lips she said, “I’m in Paris. I told everyone on Twitter that I was, so it must be true,” before her head lolled back and she let loose a loping, dizzy giggle. She stopped suddenly, as if she had forgotten what she had found so funny, and let the phone slip from her fingers. She then rolled on her side and Jing Hua, obviously aware of her mistress’s subtle signals, placed the pipe in her mouth, letting her inhale deeply. I turned as she exhaled a massive plume of thick smoke and continued on down the hall, the sounds of a dry, spastic cough echoing behind me, having gotten the distinct impression that this particular conversation was over.
As I walked I thought that there had to be something to Apple’s gadget, if even a spaced-out dope fiend could navigate its surface competently while in the midst of chasing the dragon. It was interesting to note, then, The New Yorker — that bastion of culture and obtuse cartoons — touting that the cover for this week’s magazine was digitally crafted by artist Jorge Colombo using Brushes, and recorded with Brushes Viewer so that we can all see how absolutely mind blowing and future-fabulous it is.
All sarcasm aside, I actually wish they could have filmed his fingers as he painted it. I can’t help but think that my own, clumsy digits would allow for lines too fat and globular for even The New Yorker’s Impressionist leanings.