phone – that’s what you stuff into pillowcases, ennit?
not having a phone since touching down in australia (one that works, that is), i’ve gone through a mental detox that one might go through with addiction or death of a loved one.
now, i’m not making such crass parallels between humanity and….oh wait, i think i am. never mind.
maybe it’s something connected to communication and “being there,” a feeling of safety i also had with a pack of marlboros, marlboro lights, merit,…etc. (as the emphysema demanded less abuse, or smaller doses) – but hey – they were still my best friends in the world….i mean next to people(?), but of course – i hadn’t had a cellphone back then, so the priority list could have been (and most probably is) altered, just like my opinions and perceptions, day in and day out.
my missing friend, the one who disappeared, might agree with me and then again, she might not. we communicated a lot last night as i slept.
these questions, however, never came up.
i bring her to the fore because she’s inexorably connected to me through this phone (when it works), this manner of communication that i’m not judging one way or the other, but i AM breathing a sigh of relief that i’ve gotten to the state of it not mattering for these days, hours and moments, but have suffered through similar pangs of denial, anger, habit, sadness and loss as i have with cigarettes and people.
my phone has been neutralized due to america’s doddering technology. it’s interesting how the most cutting-edge technology we brag about hasn’t made it into our phones yet.
this is, no doubt, coming.
when the changeover happens, a new wave of phones will be introduced and we’ll all have to get off the sinking ship of the old and strap our life vests onto the lifesavers floating in the wake of the good-ship “new purchase.”
don’t get me wrong. i’m not bemoaning the past. i’m not one to cling to much of anything these days, be it technology or sanity.
it will all go, as we do……, (i might mention earthquakes and such but i’m sure you’re thinking it anyway) but in the moments of quiet when the echo and hiss in the back of my mind allows, i like to believe that the phone that lays in state will re-emerge to remind me of things i’ve said to my friend and some disconnected words and phrases will appear to remind me of moments, both joyful and horrifying, of my relationship between me, my phone and humanity.
and cigarettes. did i mention cigarettes?
well, some of it at least…..and with it, i might light up a cigarette but probably won’t because as i walk these australian streets, i’m hacking up phlegm, a gentle reminder of my future and my past.
but i wouldn’t change a thing…..
in the middle of this wordstroll, i got into a conversation about eyeglasses, declining vision and mortality.
like minds think….alike?……
robert went off about his anxiety with lasik-eye-surgery and how he’d be unsure about what to fix; the far-or-nearsightedness that troubles him and how he feels that if he goes to an optometrist, he’d have to get bifocals.
he keeps getting those drugstore-reading-glasses with stronger and stronger lenses.
i need different-powered lenses for different things.
2.50-power for this (like THIS), 2.00 for television viewing and 1.25 for driving (it makes the distant images sharp without clouding the close-up stuff).
we both agreed how it’s the deteriorating state of our hard drives and wiring .
this caused me to recall a bizarre moment with my father in the final days of dolores, my sainted irish mother.
she had fallen and broken her hip (yeah that – ) and we visited her at the hospital a few days later – they repaired her and put her in a rehab. morphine and her severely-sputtering memory passages made her forget where and why she was where she was, so in the middle of the night, she climbed out of the bed to use the bathroom….
you know the rest…,
so – back in the hospital she’s sitting up and speaking aloud and i ask her what’s she talking about and she tells me she’s reading “that,” an 8″X11″ piece of paper affixed to a wall across the room from her bed, about fifteen feet away. the type is about what i called on this computer, ” mixed 18 and 24-point type, bold.”
from where i stood next to her, i can see absolutely nothing on the page, but she’s reading it like it’s perched casually at arm’s length with her reading specks (store-bought off the rack) and everything’s peaches and cream.
relating this to robert, i tell him i was seeing the moment when her life’s GE incandescent bulb burned brightest.
she was amazingly lucid and clear. funny even. well as funny as you can be in a hospital with a broken hip and a line of staple/stitches holding the headgash incurred after that one-step off the bed.
she was gone a few days later….. but oh how brightly she shone before sparking out.
we can look forward to that if we’re lucky.
ahh, luck. i haven’t walked that road out here in a while.
don’t get me started – i already am.
bringing up a view through cheese covered eyeglasses.
but i digress……
i hacked a beige-to-grey mass, something with heft because of the absence of moisture.
if i had talent and had to go on stage, i’d already have the dry mouth.
show biz, here i come.
it’s becoming increasingly clear to me that my frankenstein laptop is ill and there’s little i can do about it.
it’s kicking up a lot of the behaviors that my original laptop had, e.g. – the cursor seems confused or lost for moments at a time, as if it were having an anxiety attack. i’m like, “easy now….too many applications open? is that what’s bothering you?”
and this morning, as i turned it on, there were irregularities on the screen itself;
a chink in the armor,
a hole in my reality,
as if i could put my finger to it and all-of-a-sudden fall forward and into “lewis carroll meets TRON”.
i’d probably like that right about now…..
so i’ll continue to journal the stream i began yesterday, something about this trip down under and phones or the lack of them, tap dancing on a fence that has giant cigarettes in place of pickets and posts, dreams i’ve had of the missing and lost, and the newest tag-along, luck – and how that works in the scheme of things.
speaking of luck;
last night i found myself in a restaurant called “a taste of india.”
no less than three times since being in town, in conversation with people i’d meet, upon hearing where i’ve taken residence here, i would hear something like, “ahh, yes – you’re near that indian restaurant where michael hutchence had dinner…,” and they trail off their words, some rolling their eyes and more than likely you know what this is about.
its claim to fame goes like this;
it’s where INXS singer and front man michael hutchence had his last dining experience before whatever happened, happened.
the food was good, too.
robert told the owner upon our exit that michael had suggested the place and we loved it.
he laughed out loud. still, good dead traction after 14 years.