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Are You As Important As You Think You Are?


Angel   

The Urban King and Princess Proud have adopted every techno craze to vastly expand their edge on everyone else. While older members continue to lament the days of the Victrola or maybe the LP, the young lions are trading in their old Ipods to upgrade to higher memory items. Their self-indulgence is evident by their trademark spaghetti ears as wires hang down their throat and into their pocket. I wonder what they are listening to and if they can hear that truck approaching or the beggar on the street moving his lips.

There is nothing wrong, other than the missed opportunity to hear something other than a digital tone. Yes, I like to sit out in the woods, with no lights around, and stare at the stars. How big they are, even bigger still, if you're looking at them from the veranda of an equatorial nation.

And then there are the hands glued to the ear and that distant look or rapid chatter as the cellular phone frequencies vibrate without stopping. I have been able to count ten passing pedestrians in a row, without exception, with hand to ear, engaged in something so desperately important that I think the safety of our Universe depends upon it. The more important they are, the more chances they take. They can drive with one hand and still cram the clam against the ear while they navigate the streets, and usually not very well. That was a white line you pulled over, and now the pedestrians must detour into traffic, because you are too inconsiderate to pull back, even though you have plenty of room.





If I am to be nasty, then my only pleasure is to realize that to get to this point, you probably had to max out your Credit Card, dose up with a gallon of caffeine, and be oblivious to what is looming on the horizon in your future. They will be called panic attacks, though they could come as unexplainable dizziness, slightly elevated blood pressure, a tendency toward the new epidemic of Diabetes, and higher than normal levels of everything from mercury to cadmium to aluminum.

You are doomed to become that overweight jockey stuffed into an electric wheelchair, not because you need the wheelchair, but because it's easier to get around. Every so often, we see you get up and out and lumber toward the cashier to pay her for that cholesterol-soaked hamburger and then to light up a cigarette. You are too far gone to change, even if you wanted to.

So it's back to the laptop. You're using it now. Back to the quick shoot-em-up game, which you know just makes your brainwaves race. And there is a very good reason for it all. You know you are an extension of those people you see in the movies who are always cutting it close. They race through the streets, barely missing everything in sight, rocket up the ramp to leap the gap and land on the ferry, which, just before it explodes, gives you enough time to crawl from the window, and dive overboard where a passing speedboat lays a rope in your hand, and sweeps you up onto the shore.

You have your circle of friends whose lives and intrigues artificially rival any bubblehead celebrity or reality artifice, and to you and to them, it is all the center of whatever exists and whatever will exist.

Those old codgers creeping along the street will never be you. You can't imagine how or why they chose that life. Body parts have ceased to function, libido is gone, there's a constant trail of gas lingering in clothing folds, and lumps have grown every which way, to the point where you know they could never be hired to advertise anything other than hemorrhoid cream or denture adhesive.

There is only one problem with the entire package. You just don't get it. You are not that important, your life is insignificant, and you are decaying faster than all prior generations. You will be deaf and toxic far more quickly because you haven't got the time to relax, meditate, and detoxify. The future is inevitable. All current events, unpleasant wars, and intense political attitudes, will squeeze into forgotten mush like last year's snowfall. They will be replaced by much the same thing for the next heroic crew, but you won't be one of them. You'll be the next Hemorrhoid Poster Boy.

Pause. Turn off the cell phone. Take a deep breath. Now and then, look up to the stars and listen to voices in the wind.



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