I walked into the Soho Apple Store. I didn’t want to be there. It was the last place I wanted to be, really, but my phone. It wasn’t charging.

I had no room in the budget for a new phone. Not even close. I had to get this fixed or I’d be fucked for sure. I was praying that something was wrong with my charger cord and not my phone.

So I walked up to the guy in the blue genius shirt and some Warby Parkers. He was trying to communicate with two Chinese ladies but no luck. They left and he turned to me, asking if I needed an appointment. I told him maybe not.

“Not a problem, sir,” he said, tapping away at his iPad. “Can I ask what the problem is?”

“Yah, it’s not charging. I think something’s wrong with the cable I have…”

He asked to see my phone. He looked at the charge dock with a little flashlight attached to a lanyard around his neck.

“Looks like it’s not a hardware problem, sir. Looks like you just have some debris in there.”

The man takes a small metal pick from his lanyard and carefully digs into the small hole in the bottom of my phone. He pulls out a small piece of pocket lint.

“There we go,” he says, showing me the lint in his hand.

“Oh, man.” I said, “That’s the problem? I’m so dumb. Thanks so much, dude.”

“Wait,” he says, “There seems to be a little more.”

He continues picking until he removes a small, balled-up rubber band.


He pulls out a single tic-tac. The orange kind that nobody likes.

“Hold on.”

Thirty six cents. Three dimes, one nickel and a penny.


My passport.

“Hold on.”

A keychain of backup keys, in case I ever get a serious girlfriend.


A brown M&M, a green skittle, and third, unfamiliar candy that I can only imagine is neither fruity nor chocolatey.

“Hold on.”

A map of the Atlanta subway system, which is supposedly a very lackluster metro system, not to mention a city I’ve never been to.


My old iPhone.

“Hold on.”

Two dice. Snake eyes. Damn.


A keychain of wrong keys in case I ever get a seriously insane girlfriend.

“Hold on.”

A little slip of paper that says, “Taylor, I’m you from the future. Do not go to the Apple store to fix your phone on the day of…” and I couldn’t read the rest.


Pocket Lynt. A living, miniature clone of Tampa, Florida local, Miller Lynt.

“Hey, Taylor!”

“Hey, Miller.”

“Hold on.”