Terrible poems you wrote on the night bus. Sad little drafts of messages to someone on Tinder that you saw a little ten months ago. Disturbed reminders at 3 a.m. to buy kitty litter with your national insurance number. Two conflicting summaries of how much each of your roommates owes each other. A Thai noodle salad recipe. Three book recommendations associated with the notes of a call from your energy supplier. And a list of all the people you’ve fucked, next to their star signs. Telephone notes are a strange and lawless place.
In a few decades, when climate change kills human life on Earth and aliens take over the planet, extraterrestrial anthropologists will just need a list of potential group names or scenario ideas to understand nature. depraved, banal and absurd of the human condition. And, if you really think about it, some of those weird little shards hidden in your notes app are probably all that someone would need to blackmail you into committing murder. Your teenage journal wants what your notes app has. With that in mind, we went to ask a few obliging strangers to show us one of their phone notes, send it to us, and explain what they’re up to.
“It was I who told myself not to ghost”
I think it’s a drawing of this girl I dated for a few months last year. It was me telling myself not to ghost people, which I find really unfair because I don’t think I’m ghosting and I absolutely don’t ghost at the end. I broke up with her in a pub and she stormed off and we haven’t spoken since. She actually lives a few streets away from me but strangely I haven’t seen her, except once I had to hide from her in the supermarket. Maybe she has moved. Antoine
“My notes application is reserved for my big thoughts”
My notes app is for my big thoughts only, like that bad poem I think I must have written when I went to this Tate Modern Picasso exhibit a few years ago, which seems to be my thoughts on whether Picasso is overrated. Impossible to say, really. Lola
“I still think the DJ is a nuncio”
As you can probably guess from the 4am timestamp, I wrote this after a few shots on a trashy party at this Musical High School– themed club evening. I had seen two of my mom’s friends kids in the club kissing with the DJ and I think in my drunken logic I wanted to write it down because I thought they were still underage. The DJ was a middle aged man, so I was worried and wanted to remember to tell my mom about it the next day. They are both over 18, but I still think the DJ is a nuncio. Scarlett
“John? Who was he? We’ll never know”
Looks like it’s me trying to remember everyone I’ve ever slept with. As you can see from the list, I switch genders halfway through. I spent a lot of my college years dating guys and then when I left I realized I was more attracted to women. A few of the people on this list are serious long-term partners. A couple is more casual. And a few are one night stands that I barely remember. Like, “Jean”? who was he? We’ll never know. Bee
“I was really done”
I wrote this one at a house party. I think the first track is something I heard this stoned Canadian guy say and thought it was funny so I wrote it. The second moment is when I type a message to the person controlling the laptop because I couldn’t stop laughing enough to speak. I was trying to tell them to watch this PowerPoint presentation on the secret case of Jack Antonoff and Lorde. I was really done. Omar
“This note is less of a reminder to myself, and more of an affirmation”
I would say this note is less of a reminder to myself, and more of an affirmation? As I wrote this I was worried that other people would think I was passive, or that I would allow people to treat me in a certain way because I was afraid to call them . But it never was. It is in fact the opposite. I can be so responsive and instinctive that I often actively try to exercise some calm and peacefulness in an effort to be more self-aware and healthy. Does that make any sense? Anyway, I was the one telling myself that. Akira.
“At the time, I was really like ‘yeah, it’s fucking deep and cerebral'”
I accidentally changed the date now so I can’t go back and check it out, but I think it was early in the morning and I was drunk and had a manic idea of a work by art while probably going through a breakup with my ex-girlfriend at the same time and I love trying to pull out some really nice artistic ramblings with intense meanings in them. At the time, I was like “yeah, that’s fucking deep and cerebral”. But now I’m just like… “Hmmm, that was either very manic of me or just a really bad artistic idea.” Antonia
“I have stuck with this pre-uni recipe ever since”
This is a curry recipe I wrote before going to college. I didn’t know how to cook anything but my stepdad made a lot of curry and it seemed manageable. I guess I have stuck with this recipe ever since. Lauren
“A lot of my phone notes are just drunken nonsense”
I work in a brewery and honestly a lot of my phone notes are just drunken nonsense and boring work lists. I tend to write little descriptions of people I see when I’m upset, like this one which is obviously a salient commentary on technology and social isolation. Gregory