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Behavioural Issues

“The humanists' replacement for religion: work really hard and somehow you'll either save yourself or you'll be immortal. ” — David Bowie

In Transit(ion)

For all intents and purposes, I am currently homeless.

No, I am not writing to you from the sidewalk outside of a Starbuck’s, there is no paper cup to collect dollars or change. Nor am I seeking shelter from the rain. (Can we please get some sun, already? Come ON!)

No, instead I’m working as a receptionist today at a school on the Upper East Side, with several crying/screeching/bumbling children in the lobby. Birth control at it’s finest.

When my shift ends, I can either walk around (weather permitting — would you just fucking PERMIT already, Weather?), or I can head back to my temporary rental in Queens and get my stuff sorted back into the various cases and bags I arrived with in the beginning of May.

From here, it’s a 3-day writer’s retreat into Vermont that begins this Wednesday, followed by a couple of days with a friend in New Jersey, and then a flight to California, where I will live indefinitely.

Sky’s the limit, bitches, yeah!

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So you may be asking, how did you manage to avoid the bedraggled, wayward life of so many other homeless people?

Strategising and fighting. That’s how.

Working an exhaustive 12 hours a day for a few months, and being so tired by the time I got home, I didn’t want to spend money on anything. All I wanted to do was veg out and sleep.

While I don’t miss that gig, I am very grateful for the money it has allowed me to save to be able to do this. Getting more cushion for the California pushin’.

When I tell people, “I’m moving to California”, it is usually accepted with a response of, “oh, California is very expensive.”

Ahhhhh, Pot? Kettle is on Line 1.

Yes, California is not cheap by any stretch of the imagination. I know this. In the beginning, there will be struggle. I’m used to struggle. I know Struggle so well, we snuggle.

I snuggle with Struggle. And then we drive off in a Buggle. Leaving my mind a fuggle. My heart strings all a-tuggle.

Damn it, I went too far again.

Telling someone wherever they’re going, or whatever plans they’ve made is going to be difficult, is like telling a cancer patient that they can live, but they’ll have to take chemo treatments and/or drugs.

This is not a newsflash. It doesn’t enlighten the person. Maybe you think you’re doing them a favour by warning them, but you’re really just bringing them down on their new adventure. When someone needs a boost over a fence, you don’t drop weights on their feet.

In a week and a half, I’m heading west by planes, trains and automobiles. I have my stuff, my notebooks, and my tenacity. How far that will get me is anybody’s guess.

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Cali or Bust!

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This has been an interesting year where my indecisiveness has run amok like so many A.D.D. children filled on sugar.

I knew I had to leave New York City. That much had been solidified well over a year ago. The precise direction in which I was headed was another subject altogether.

First, the idea of Oregon had crept it’s way into my labyrinth-like brain. Then there was the southbound direction of California waving it’s little flag in the air, like it just don’t care. (Because it’s a true playa, yo!) (I should stop.)

For a little while, the liberal-and-weird city of Austin, Texas beckoned at the back door of my brain. There was some timid knocking, nothing intense. After my constant whining about the heat of a New York City summer, said knocking had subsided, and Austin was sent away…kicking rocks back to the country of Texas. Even Austin knew it wasn’t meant to be.

I don’t even get a postcard.

In the beginning of ’17, it almost seemed like Rhode Island was going to be a reality, despite the fact it was the exact opposite direction of where I wanted to go. I took a bus to Providence, staying there with a guy I will refer to a Supah-Shady, and got a few surprises in quick, rapid-fire succession that were not of the happiest persuasion. So that idea was soon nipped in the bud.

I had debated whether or not to go through with the New England-bound plans, or do I trust my gut and stay put? Thankfully, I went with the latter, and it has made all the difference.

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The moment I chose to stay in the city I love, my shoulders came back down to where they belonged, and I could use my ears again. Reason Pi you should always trust your gut. Plus, it always holds the best food.

Shoot to four months, a flatmate-from-hell, and one exhausting job later, and I’m at a brave-new-world kind of moment in my life.

I’ve moved out of the apartment I called “home” for the last four and a half years. I’m now in an Air BNB room for another week and change. From there, I’m off to a retreat in Vermont (thank you, Danielle!) for a few days. After that, it’s staying with my friend for a couple of days, and then?

…CALIFORNIA, HERE I COME!

EUREKA!

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From there, who knows where my life’s journey will take me. But as the spectacular David Bowie put it, “I don’t know where I’m going from here, but I promise it won’t be boring.”

The Day I Cackled Into The Shiny Dome Of A Stranger’s Bald Head

I was encouraged by a good friend to share this experience with the world, about a year ago.

Before I get into it, I feel the need to preface this little memory with an explanation.

As many of you know, Facebook has this wonderful feature for people like me, who can’t let go of the past. It’s called “On This Day”. It shows posts from exactly one year, two years, red years and blue years ago of everything that happened on that exact day. I do enjoy this feature because it shows examples of how I ‘ve both grown and not-grown since the annual days of yawn, I mean yore! Yore! Totally meant yore.

For example, I’m just as snarky now as I was back in ’14. Only now, I’m more experienced at snark. I’ve smoothed some of the edges of my inner snark-statue. No chisels were used in the making of this snark temple.

I’m also just as inept at hiding my feelings when reading books in public now as I was, say, a year ago.

Sit tight, kiddo! Strap yourself into your high-chair on the roller coaster of Memory Lane!

Here goes:

“So I’m on the F Train heading home, and at the tail end of Jenny Lawson’s‘Let’s Pretend This Never Happened’, and laughing so hard that by the time we stop at Delancey, I literally cackled into the shiny dome of a stranger’s bald head. The woman standing across from me, Shay (we were standing by the doors), starts laughing herself because not only did Under-The-Dome jump, but about 2 or 3 people behind him who were also trying to get off got a little start at my walrus-like bark-cackle. Doors close, 4 petrified-wood people lighter than we were before, and the woman is gripping the door with one hand and a knee with the other, squealing ‘ohmygod!’.

She now has a couple leads of what books to read next, and I have a free ‘Sanders: Because fuck this shit’ pin.

Reading: Bringing people together.”

I haven’t done much writing lately. My current gig, which ends this Friday — THANK YOU, CHEESES! — has had me so exhausted by the end of the day, my brain has held no original thoughts by the time I get home at night in the span of the last 3 months. I haven’t even been able to get much reading in, shy of my sitting in the loo. And you can only get away with doing that for so long before you get those oval-like dents in your arse.

Yeeeeaaaahhh, you know what I mean. Yeah you. I see you, ya little sneak!. Waddling out like you’re pretending you didn’t finish a chapter in there.

You’re fooling nobody.

How To Have Fun With Customer Service Reps

It’s nearly midnight, and my guilt over not writing a post in the last couple of weeks is riding me…hard.  I can’t sleep until I post something.

Going through my Facebook feature of “On This Day”, a story pops up from a year ago about a chat I had with a Warby Parker Customer Service Representative by the name of Aly.

Before sharing the conversation I had, let me give a little back story on why this happened.

It’s two-fold, really.

First of all, I’ve been a customer service representative.  More often than not, I hated it.  Especially the call centre type of work.  You talk to random strangers for approximately 7 hours out of your day.  More than likely, it’s a multitude of calls telling you how much you suck, how much the company you work for sucks, how life sucks, and by the way, they want a credit/discount/validation of how right they are.

It’s not for everyone.  Unless you have the patience of a saint, that revolving door of employees is going to keep spinning like a vinyl on hi-speed.

Secondly, I’m a loyal customer to Warby Parker.  I believe in this company with all of my heart.  There’s a small number of companies I can truly say that about.  The full amount could probably fit into a Drumpf-sized hand.  They’re socially conscious, they give back to the community in that when a pair of their glasses is bought, they donate another pair to a kid in need.  So when I buy frames from them, EVERYBODY WINS!

I have three pairs from them:

My Upton Sea Smokes.

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My Ainsworths

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And most recently, my Wilders:

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These gems start at $95, and they’re just as sharp, if not moreso, in my opinion, than any Calvin Klein, Donna Karan, or Dulce de Leche and Gobblin’ Ya.

Which is why the following conversation happened.

My online chat with Warby Parker rep, Ally, at the beginning of February 2016:

Ally Mon, 02/01/16 04:51:21 pm America/New_York

Hi Carrie! How can I help?

Carrie 04:52:06 pm

If I run through the store, calling out “I want them all, Daddy!” like Veruca Salt…will they call security right away?

Ally 04:53:02 pm

lol!! No, but we maintain the right to turn you into a blueberry 😉

Carrie 04:53:44 pm

lol, sweetheart, that won’t be hard. I’m wearing mostly blue and lusting over the blue Haskell frames – bring it on
My real question (yes, I did have a real one), is does WP ever do BOGO sales?

Ally 04:55:07 pm

We don’t, I’m sorry about that. We try to keep our prices low in general, so we never really offer promotions.

Carrie 04:55:34 pm

What if you made me your mascot?

Ally 04:56:01 pm

We already have one! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue-footed_booby

 

Carrie 04:56:25 pm

dammit, work with me here
lol
I’m sending back the 5 try-ons tomorrow
And I’m having a hard time choosing between the Eatons, the Wilders and the Haskells

Ally 04:57:38 pm

There’s a $10 discount in your account – feel to reference this if you come into the store or call in once you place the order online, and we can apply it 🙂

Carrie 04:58:10 pm

ooooooooooohhhhh, now I’m getting really into it.
the cobalt blue Burroughs are also high on my list

Ally 04:58:32 pm

The Eaton Wilder and Haskells are all a bit different – whats the look you’re going for?

Carrie 04:59:14 pm

the I’m-Smarter-Than-You look, but apparently I need better hair for that too.
When is WP coming out with Ziggy Stardust frames?
And how did I end up with a $10 discount, if you don’t mind my asking?

Ally 05:00:55 pm

I like to think the Percey in Maraschino are very Ziggy Stardust!
Because this is the most fun chat I’ve had all day! 🙂

Carrie 05:02:04 pm

lol
agreed!

Ally 05:02:31 pm

Can you be smarter than everyone in a bright color frame?
I think the blue Haskell are smart AND fun?

Carrie 05:03:41 pm

absobloominlutely
I really love the Haskells, they’re so smart
if you look through Instagram, I’m eye_c_books, and I have quite a few WP posts

Ally 05:05:02 pm

Right on! Very smart. I feel like a lot of our frames are traditionally “smarter” (square, statement, black/brown) but the Haskell are smart with a twist
Ally 05:06:48 pm

Wow, great pics. The Wilder looks awesome on you!

Carrie 05:09:20 pm

thank you! The Wilders and the Eatons seem to be getting the most votes
I like the Eatons, because I wear jeans a lot, and they kind of have a denim feel/hue to them
I’m wearing my Ainsworths now.

Ally 05:10:19 pm

Very true. They also have gotten the most instagram love – gotta trust the followers

Carrie 05:10:29 pm

right?

Ally 05:10:55 pm

I think that’s the move!

Carrie 05:10:58 pm

thank you so much for tolerating my silliness, one last question

Ally 05:11:15 pm

Thank you for brightening my day! I could use a little entertainment at 5:15!

Carrie 05:11:17 pm

What are you currently reading?

Ally 05:11:29 pm

Great question! My book club is reading Fates and Furies – you?

Carrie 05:12:54 pm

I’m wrapping up The Man Who Sold the World: David Bowie and the 1970s
After this, it’s either M Train by Patti Smith or Bazaar of Bad Dreams by Stephen King
Ally 05:14:16 pm

Can’t go wrong with Stephen King! I’ll have to look up M Train – never heard of it!

Carrie 05:14:39 pm

It’s her follow-up to Just Kids, have you read that one?

Ally 05:15:20 pm

I haven’t! I just graduated from school in the spring so I’ve been doing a lot of academic reading these past few years, I have a lot to catch up on.

Carrie 05:15:46 pm

Ohhhhhhhhh, you HAVE to read that one! One of my all-time favourites!
Patti is quintessential New York!

Ally 05:16:24 pm

I’ll put it on the list! My book club is a bunch of twentysomething‘s trying to get cultured so I’ll recommend it haha

Carrie 05:16:43 pm

lol – Have them revisit Vonnegut then

Ally 05:16:54 pm

not THAT cultured 😉

Carrie 05:17:05 pm

And anything Neil Gaiman!
lol

Ally 05:17:30 pm

I’ll recommend them!

Carrie 05:17:31 pm

what were you studying in University?

Ally 05:17:53 pm

The history of science and technology!

Carrie 05:18:01 pm

nice!
So you’re loaded up on Hawking I take it?

Ally 05:18:58 pm

Yes – and I’m still not sure if the universe exists, let’s just leave it at that!

Carrie 05:19:19 pm

lol – keep watching Dr. Who, you’ll be fine.
or read The Elegant Universe by Brian Greene – THAT will blow your mind
I’m a huge bibliophile

Ally 05:21:12 pm

Jeez, it looks like you have a lot of reading list on your hands – we better get you some new reading glasses then!

Carrie 05:21:35 pm

exactly! thank you for the discount, by the bye
I won’t take up anymore of your time, you’ve been awesome

Ally 05:22:12 pm

You’re very welcome! Thanks for the afternoon entertainment! Have a great rest of your day

Carrie 05:22:25 pm

lol my pleasure and you too!

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So let this be a lesson to you; you can talk to and have fun with strangers.  Sometimes the candy ain’t so bad!

How Something Bad Can Provoke Something Good

This past weekend was a bittersweet one.

I did not march in the protest, though I wanted to. I wanted my voice in the chorus of power, to tell the country exactly where I stood. Certain barriers, though invisible, were overpowering. Barriers like anxiety, which are overwhelming at the most inconvenient times, can get Rudolph to keep himself out of the reindeer games.

As frustration mounts, I know that simply standing by the wayside is not an option. To be mute is as unforgivable as being with the opponents. Stagnancy has no place here.

So I revert to what I know makes me feel stronger: art.

Art is a great portal to a welcoming world. It is all-encompassing, it is all-consuming, or at least it should be. It is communication without speaking.

A test run

Art is the foundation from which happiness grows. It doesn’t have to be a Degas, it only has to be a you. It has to be genuinely you. That’s the only rule.

The piece above isn’t exactly breath-taking, but it’s all me. It was a message that railed against the walls of my brain. It would not be ignored until it was let out.

This is how you can protest. Fight with your head and hands, and you will always come out the winner.

Trying to Get the Success of Trump, Without Coming Off As A Rump

In a freelancer’s world, you can do whatever you want. However, whatever it is you want to do had better include some element of sales, or your “product/service” won’t get far.

Sales requires confidence. Regardless of whether it’s inherent, or more fake-it-til-you-make-it, it needs to exist inside of you.

This is where Trump comes in, and the hypothetical Achilles heel walks the path. It’s no secret that I don’t like anything about him. I didn’t vote for him. I was vocally for Bernie Sanders from start to finish. Trump’s self-esteem trampled over the line to the darker side of arrogance. His bluntly honest prejudice against races, sexes and sexual proclivities makes my skin crawl.

Having said that, let’s take a hard look at the last couple of years and use another term for what Donald Trump is; the “Underdog”.

Normally, I root for the underdog. Movies, sports, movies about sports, Davy versus Goliath, the one guy moving against the crowds, running in the opposite direction. Reality seems to be the only platform where I want the underdog euthanized.

From the beginning, Trump had everyone laughing that he was even going to try to run. Then the campaigning started, and the general idea was that this was simply a publicity stunt. People all across the nation were waiting for the punchline, where none existed. This orange dude was still going! He was saying some of the most repugnant things, unimaginable to the minds of us “liberals”, but he was still in the race, and we lost Bernie and had to back up Hillary, simply because she was the only front-runner who wasn’t Trump.

And he beat her.

Disbelief led to rage and tears, which led to a hashtag frenzy in this modern-day age of #notmypresident’s, #wtf’s , #fourmoreyears and so on. Everyone who has a heart and actually believes in equality was asking, “how could this happen?” Oh yeah, the electoral college. The new guy in charge won them over, and that’s all that mattered as far as he was concerned. They’re the ones with the money. They’re the ones who get the final say.

Whether this was a fact easily hidden, or easily forgotten, it matters not. It is what it is.

So how does this translate into the world of freelancing? C’mon, Carrie, bring this back to the start of the circle.

You have to make your audience believe you’re the best at what you do, that they won’t get a better product or service elsewhere. Whether by building a flashy website with examples of your work and references, or holding a meeting with a presentation and PowerPoint.

This — all of this — takes a lot of confidence and conviction in yourself. It also takes a talent of dancing on that fine line that – when plucked — quivers from “confidence” to “arrogance”. It takes time to build the foundation, naturally. But it’s time well spent if you believe in what you are selling. If your product/service is truly awesome, it oftentimes sells itself.

Here are five (and a half) important questions to ask yourself:

1. Do you know your audience?

2. Do you know the proper environment for your product/service? Is this something that’s only regional, or could it be taken nationwide?

3. Are your prices reasonable for what you’re doing?

4. Is there competition? If so, how can you “beat them at the game”?

5. What is your daily regime, and is there space for alternatives? Meaning, if you generally get up at eight in the morning, do your exercises, then have breakfast and then get started on your work, will a new contract that requires you to show up at their site by 8:30 a.m. throw you off your game?

5a. Do you have the resolve and flexibility to make amendments to your day?

These are all important questions to ask yourself. If you find yourself answering “no” to any of them, you might want to consider finding a way to say “yes” to them, at least initially.

Trying To Find Peace Within When There’s Panic Without

Today feels like a funeral.  Rest in peace, Hope.  Rest in peace, Promise of Better Days.

I’ve been staring at this screen, trying to figure out what I could possibly state that hasn’t already been stated in so many ways, so many times over.  It isn’t simply a sense of being bereft.  And no, I’m not going to “just get over it”.  That’s impossible.  I’m having a hard enough time getting through it.

This new era, for lack of a better term, is not brave, nor is it encouraging.  These are scary times.  Beyond the fear of the unknown, I’m dealing with anxiety of what I am – admittedly – assuming is going to happen.  As a woman, I am scared of having my rights taken away from me just because Drumpf wants the power.  Health insurance is a human need in this day and age.  To have Obamacare repealed, with nothing supplied in it’s stead, means for me a potential slow death.  Getting health insurance from the temp agency I get a majority of my work from will take a chunk of money out of my weekly pay.

If I don’t get health insurance, I get fined.  If I do get health insurance, I get charged.  Whether it’s “fined” or “charged”, I still have to pay to live.  Sounds a lot like getting mugged, right?  Yeah, that’s how it feels, too.

I worry that I have to look over my shoulder now, checking to see if some asshole is going to try and put his paws on me because he assumes he can.  Is someone going to order me to “go back where you came from”, simply because they hear my accent?  Do I have to adopt an American accent, sounding cartoon-y and obnoxious again, like I did when I was a kid?  Just to try and blend in?  To ensure a new target isn’t self-drawn?

In the beginning of this year, I had silently resolved to not revert to politics in every conversation I have.

This is, apparently, harder than I thought it would be.  The politics are everywhere and in everything.  They were especially prevalent in my blog yesterday, in which I put the Girl Scouts on blast for their participation in the Inauguration march.

That’s money saved!  Now that I’m no longer giving them my money, I have to find other cookies to eat.  Hey there, Trader Joe’s!  What’s doin’?

After posting the blog on the Facebook page for Shaunta Grimes’ Ninja Writers (a closed group), someone read it and proceeded to tell me to “get over it, you lost!”  At which point, I stood up for myself and told Rainbow Brite – in no uncertain terms – that with Drumpf, we all lose.  Someone else piped in saying it was a political post, which is partially true. (It was mostly about not getting young girls involved in the politics that involve a highly publicised sexual aggressor.)

I said it.  I meant it.  I stand by it.

Ms. Grimes apparently couldn’t handle this with diplomacy, and wordlessly booted me off the page.  No warning.  No mediation.

So much for freedom of speech, eh?

No problem.

As I type all of this, the Inept-guration is happening now.  I can’t watch the nightmare.

The question now is, where do we go from here?  A part of me would like to hide in an underground bunker hidden away in a state that neither Drumpf nor his mail-order bride knows about.  Another part of me wants to expand my work and succeed, just to spite the racist xenophobe dick-tator.  Rise up and take power of my life, my career as a writer, my hobbies in art, and to live my united-colours-of-Benetton existence and treat my neighbours of all colours, creeds and religions or lack-thereof, with respect.

Except Trump supporters.  They can fuck off into traffic.  He might be their president, but he’s not mine.

And I stand by that statement as well.

A Boycott on the Girl Scouts

As someone who has spent well over two decades enjoying Girl Scout cookies (So many boxes of Thin Mints later, still not thin!), yesterday came as a blow when I had to decide they would no longer be a part of my life. Oh well. Looks like it’s just you and me, Joe-Joe’s!

Unless you’ve isolated yourself from all current events — and let’s face it, that IS a tempting idea — then you’ve heard that Girl Scouts will still be marching in the Inauguration shitshow…er, parade. Them, and every D-list celebrity you didn’t know was still alive. I suddenly can understand why Joanie stopped loving Chachi.

Back to the Girl Scouts.

I have a HUGE problem with them participating in the un-American Inept-Auguration. For an organization that is supposedly about female empowerment and teaching girls to be self-sufficient and helpful towards their fellow sisters and other people, I find it audacious that they will have any of their girls participate in this march in any capacity.

It seems as though Girl Scouts are more concerned with getting exposure than protecting the ideals, rights and honour of their troops.

While they want to state that they are a-political and do not favour one party or the other, they need to keep in mind that their customers are NOT a-political, and they DO stand on one side or the other.

Beyond that, Drumpf is a proven sexual offender, registered or not. He has been caught on a hot mic speaking about how he forces himself on women whether they want it or not. Not to put too fine a point on it, this orange POS wants to take away the rights of women who want full control of their own body, threatening to “punish them” if they go through with abortions.

And Girl Scouts is alright with this? Seriously?

On their own website, Girl Scouts indicate, “… they offered a helping hand to those in need and worked together to improve their corner of the world.”

Yet, they are supporting a very specific now-political figure who is doing his damnedest to disrespect, dishonour, and further objectify women. Drumpf has proven — repeatedly — that he cannot be trusted to treat all sexes, races and ethnicities with equality. He is working on repealing a healthcare program that has helped well over 10 million people.

And this is what Girl Scouts wants to support?

As a female American citizen, I cannot in good conscience support an organization that is willing to sell out and compromise the very people it states it was created for. Furthermore, I would encourage parents to look to healthier organizations for their daughters to participate in.

Give A Gift To Those Around You and Be Present

It isn’t anything new that people basically live on their phones these days. Those tiny gadget-bastards have everything on them. EVERYTHING!

Okay, nearly everything. For some reason, nobody has thought to come up with an app that teaches you how to walk as if you still have a pulse while you’re fully enthralled with your phone.

I say it like this for a myriad of reasons:

A) I’m super snarky. It’s like regular snarky, but with a little more salt. And a cape. Can I have a cape already? One damn cape? It doesn’t even have to be dry-clean only! I’m fine with taking it to the laundromat. I’m not asking to be Princess Snark, people. Tiaras cost way more than capes, I know this. Can I just have a cape? Please? (Isn’t there a rule somewhere that if you say “please”, you should automatically get whatever you ask for?)

2) I have to walk around Manhattan on a regular basis, primarily for work. This is not the same Manhattan that we saw in the movies from days of yore. Remember those days? The hustle-and-bustle days, where everybody was in a rush to get somewhere. The days where you could nearly get trampled if you weren’t moving fast enough, and you were slowing people down. People looked up and forward, aware of their surroundings.

We need this in Manhattan.  Why don’t we have this in all of NYC?  Hey deBlasio!  Step up your game!

These days, it’s not so much hustle-and-bustle as it is slug-and-drug. People are so sucked into their phones, they aren’t even trying to pretend they aren’t. I’m not sure if George Orwell would be laughing, moaning or rolling in his grave if he could see this. It’s not like he didn’t warn us, but would we listen? Noooooo! We’ve become so disconnected to each other in the physical sense, that when a person interrupts us from this bright, colourful screen, we become immediately irate and confrontational.

And I’m not using the royal “we” either, so quit cupping your hand like that. Put it down. You look silly.

I have created for myself an invisible “Fuck Off” wall, and all it took was headphones and a book. I don’t like talking on the phone very much, so I don’t have a cell phone so much as a Walkman that lets me take calls. Admittedly, my brain gets to the point where nothing else exists in the world until I’ve got David Bowie in my ears, at top volume, so that I don’t have to hear any other mortals in my immediate environment. I will press the “Volume” button as if it were linked to a morphine drip, and I was desperate for the pain of the real world to fade away. It’s that important to me.

The one thing I do that I don’t see a lot of other people doing, however, is I will stand to the far side of the path so that I can adjust my phone in whatever way possible, as opposed to those who prefer to stand smack dab in the middle of the sidewalk of 34th and 7th. If a text comes in, and it’s longer than a line, it’s over to the side I go. If I get a phone call, first I assume it’s the wrong number, because who would call me? Then I look at the screen and discover it’s an agency call. I will take the call while walking, but because this is New York City, and I’ve been to a lot of rock concerts without using ear plugs, I find a store I can tuck away into, and do my talking in there.

This doesn’t make me “better than” anyone. I’ve had people ask me if I assume as much, and the answer is always “no”. I don’t generally think in those parameters, because that’s not how I was raised. I say this with the caveat that while I don’t think I’m “better than” anyone, I do have the skill of “courtesy” that was instilled in me at a very young age by both my grandparents and my biological mother. To follow that, I do find myself intolerant of those who don’t afford the same respect.

Orange) I’m a minority. I fully realise that. I don’t think like most people I know. I’m “wired differently” if you will.

Bottom line is this, when you’re putting yourself out into the world where you have to share the air with others, remind yourself that you are, in fact, in the real world, and behave as such. Be present, be aware of your immediate surroundings, your neighbours (walking or otherwise). Try and understand that you may be on your own time, but when you’re walking on the busier sidewalks, at a speed just below “alive”, yeah, you’re going to piss people off. You’re now slowing down their time.

Zombie cell phone walkers are one of my biggest pet peeves. And I’m sure my telling them off for acting like zombies is a huge annoyance for them. We all have our little battles in life.

In the words of Kurt Vonnegut:

 

 

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