When Calls Drop
& Streets Go Quiet
People who never turn anything off, including themselves, may not understand, but there is such thing as doing nothing. In fact, if so-called power naps reset the brain, then dropping everything and just staring at a wall could do wonders to anyone. Not us, though; no time. Check back tomorrow, say after 5:30pm?
It’d help if we could freeze the city over and walk the empty streets as if survivors of a cataclysmic event. Such moments of eerie stillness, with not a soul on sight and the hum of urban machines quieted down, are still possible. Just don’t be long or you may turn into a slaughtered lamb on the nightly news. You know, evil loves shadows.
We suspect that even authors of best sellers about the virtues of dropping out have a hard time turning off their own phones. For when computer cameras and mikes are covered up, we may still carry on, afraid we’re missing out on something on Facebook. Thus our every second is filled with white noise.
Yet, there’s so much poetry in catching the automated world existing by itself, while its switch can still be turned off. Like when lights turn green and there’s no car in a hurry to go anywhere. Being sleepy and bored used to be equated to being lazy and spoiled, but new research changed all that. They are now deemed essential to genius.
TURN ON, DROP OUT, TUNE IN
Dreams are often a source for original ideas, popping up right after we open up our eyes from a minutes-long slumber. And the restlessness of having nothing to do has launched many a revolutionary take on the very concept of creating something out of thin air. Or we may always choose to just roll over and, well, nap.
Sides have argued over this since forever, and the likely reason we’re now convinced that we need to be on 24/7 may be because one of them hasn’t slept a wink in centuries. Then again, the very idea of having a non-stop society, to optimize productivity and increase efficiencies, was likely dreamed of by someone who’d just woken up.
STRANGER IN A STRANGER LAND
I once went back to a city I’d lived before, without telling anyone I was there. I’ve checked into a cheap motel and wandered about like a tourist. It was exhilarating. I walked and walked, (more)
* Field of Dreams
* Counting Electric Sockets
* Spinning Wheels
always looking over my shoulder, lest not be recognized. But that was easy; I’m not famous, there or anywhere else.
To scrutinize faces, checking whether I’d laid eyes on them before, is a haunting experience. Many seemed familiar, as if my mind was anxious to find a visual connection. But no matches; just some wondering whether I was once close to whoever just passed me by, or merely lusted after their picture on a magazine.
A SECRET UNSAFE WITH US
While pounding those streets, it occurred to me that either I was being observed, or being self conscious. So it came as no surprise when I was finally spotted by, as it goes, someone I hadn’t seen or spoken to in ages. It was an awkward but thankfully quick exchange; no earthshaking revelations.
As we walked away from each other, I knew that it wouldn’t be long before my private little trip would be out in the open. Months later, while making a passionate case for transparency in personal relations, my friend picked my pockets and asked me, point blank, ‘so how come you never told me?’ It was time to rest my case.