At 07.35 today I experienced five minutes of utter blind panic, made even more intense somehow by the fact that I had to sit still alongside my class as assembly proceeded. The trigger for this little episode was my sudden realisation that my phone had gone completely dead for no logical reason. I'd taken it out to record the attendance for the day on the SNAC app forced upon us for that purpose and it just didn't work at all.
How I have come to be so utterly dependent on the device I do not know, but the realisation that at a time of maximum busy-ness I simply couldn't cope without it was extremely powerful and horribly salutary.
What I do know is that the panic was dissipated as suddenly as it had descended upon me when it occurred to me that in putting the phone into my pocket, just four minutes earlier, I had somehow switched it off. When the Apple logo cheerfully reappeared after I held down the appropriate button the relief flooding in was as physiologically powerful as the hot whips of panic I'd just been lashed by. (I think the hot whips bit is from Gatsby, as applied to Tom when he feels his life is falling apart.)
And here's the really odd thing. At 07.40 I actually found I'd cheered up considerably on a morning that on the whole had seemed bleak & cheerless in the extreme in its initial stages. (I don't intend to go into too much detail as to the reasons for that mood, but I suspect most Englishmen would have felt pretty much the same.)