Saturday, December 2, 2017

Someone To Tell

Wants shift
With the change,
That time brings.

One day
In the Bermuda Triangle
Of your past
While rummaging in the attic
You find a typewriter
That had once been a friend.
Nearby, a charger for the cordless phone system
You’d hooked up all over the house.

Stacks and stacks
Of clothes in various sizes
That no longer fit;
Each garment proof of a different you:
Sometimes thinner, sometimes wider,
Poignant evidence that 
Our empires shift horizontally,
And with age —
Vertically as well.

There’s a box in the corner
With actual photos taken
During a journey
From San Francisco to Seattle.
Long ago, and yet so immediate.

A thai restaurant in Berkley
That has yet to be beat.
Pad Thai of the gods.

A muffin the size of a softball in Eureka.
The winding road on the coast
Where a classic view happened
So often that it became tedious.

Driving the rental car,
A Cadillac,
Through a tree.

Parking in Portland
And learning that one can find
A coffee house every hundred yards
Or so it seemed.

Half a decade before the internet,
Before a staggering array of new wants arrived.

Such as
the house-shattering explosion
Of dial up ….

Shwassh, shwasssh, shwasssh,
screech, screech,

Then the wait.
Something’s wrong.
No, it’s just taking forever.

Those first years traveling
And suddenly fast speed is an amenity, like HBO.
Not long before a friend suggests a wireless router.
And the world evolved. Again.

Flip phones.
Then the game changer of all game changers:
Smart phones.
Now we are truly stupid
Without our device.

Not long ago, when someone
Forgot their wallet, major panic.
Now when the phone is left behind
People feel nude in a public place.

Lately, there’s serious chatter
About cars that drive themselves.
Get your kicks on Route 66?
I suppose that that will be a convenience,
To sit back and leave the driving
To your new best robot friend.

It is SO 20th century.
To sit behind the wheel
Of a vehicle with a stick shift
And a great sound system:
Then, get your motor running;
Head out on the highway;
Looking for adventure.

A robot can’t replace that urge.
Not for me.

Once upon a time
The romantic dipped a quill
And scratched his feelings on parchment
To send to his or her paramour.

There’s a 19th century word.


But it’s also one “thing” that will never disappear.

We can high tech ourselves to boredom,
Take selfies,
Hook up with strangers,
Do a zillion things quicker and faster;
But we will never outrun or outfeel
Actual human nature.

We will always need to belong,
To share,
To know that someone else
Heard us, 
Saw us, 
Laughed with us.

It’s why we crave Facebook and Twitter:
To be seen,

That’s a given.

None of us can thrive alone.
Isolation is the purest hell.
We will always need
Someone to tell.

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