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December 03, 2016
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“Hey,” I say, somewhat aggressively, staring right at this guy.

“Hey,” he says reluctantly.

“Do you sell iPhones?” I ask.

“What? No,” he says as I realize I am acting crazy. I explain what’s going on and he laughs and promises that he hasn’t seen anyone come in recently and tells me he will keep an eye out for my phone.

Back on the street, Emily and the rest of the group are gone. I look up and down St. Marks and don’t see them. I wait a couple of minutes. Still, I don’t see them. Across the street is a pay phone; it’s been a long time since I’ve needed one and I am very happy see it. I go to the nearest bodega to get change.

“Not right now,” the guy says.

“Really?” I am holding out a dollar to him. “Come on, man, I need to use the phone.”

“Too busy,” he says.

I am irritated but look around for the cheapest thing they have. A blow-pop. I hold it up to the guy smiling.

“Twenty-five cents.”

I hand him the dollar. After the night I have had, the three quarters and irritated look from the cashier are nothing but sweet victory. I cross the street to the pay phone, put in a quarter and dial. It rings. Emily answers and they are just up the block. Success.

We chase the dot around the vicinity but never catch it. Eventually Emily’s phone dies and we all head home.

On the way home, I start to wonder if perhaps the phone is just in my bag. It is certainly possible; I convince myself that the tracker could have been just a little off and we were basically just chasing my bag.

The next morning I check and the tracker is in Queens, confirmation that the phone was stolen. It’s still shocking to me that they were able to take it with me sitting there. Very sly.

My insurance covered it and so a new iPhone 4 is on its way to me as we speak. It was still cheaper than getting an iPhone 5 without an upgrade. I think I’ll forget about a case for a little while. I bet that stupid thing is why they stole it in the first place.