Slave

5 Nov

I am enslaved… by wonder, by love, by convenience… by technology. I know I said I am on blogging hiatus, but I simply had to reach out in an electronic-half-effort to release myself from these chains, or lock them down a little tighter, I am actually not sure. As I sit here, bathed in the light of my monitors (sadly, the plural is not a typo), surrounded by the soothing hum of electricity and computer fans, comforted by the bounce of the keys beneath my fingers, I am acutely aware of how inseparable my life has become from these machines. It happened Friday. As television comedians made lighthearted jokes about  covert Sandy victims appearing in their audiences in a ruse to find power for their smartphones, I was without mine.

No, I was not falling victim to a natural disaster, nor had I been mugged. This was completely intentional and I had ample time to prepare for the EVENT.

Before your mind starts wandering, thinking that I was engaged in some sort of humorous social experiment about getting around the city without electronic assistance, you are being far too kind. I am not a complete glutton for punishment. I mean, really – I would RATHER go without food for 21 days… (a post for another day).

The simple fact was that Captain and I had opted to try a new service for technophiles (and klutzes) called Liquipel. It all sounds very cool and this is neither an endorsement nor a review of their service – they coat your device, inside and out, with a water-resistant nano-particle material that protects it from accidental liquid exposure and prevents corrosion. So they say. I have no intention of letting my phone take a dive into the toilet just to test it out… the relevant part is that the service takes two hours and naturally, you must leave your device with them. They are located a brisk 5 minute walk from a giant mall and their pamphlet has a handy map on the back, so it is all good. I hand in our phones, walk out the door, and head off to enjoy a trip to Ikea and a salad at CPK, and then it happens.

I walk a block.

I can’t find the giant red building that is the mall because the taller buildings are obscuring it. I am so glad I have the map in my pocket – self-assured that I am so very smart to have brought it. Looking at the map, my brain becomes puzzled. Where is the little blue “me” dot? Where am I? The map is useless because I can’t tell where I am. Dammit. I remind myself – this map is paper, there is no dot. I find my location based on intersecting street names and I am back in business.

I walk a block.

I casually whip my pointer finger across the map in an attempt to scroll… looking for the “me” dot. Yep. Still PAPER. Without the little blue dot moving, how will I EVER tell if I am walking in the right direction? I re-orient myself using the data provided by multiple street signs, and I am back in business. And now I also know that I need to turn at the next intersection.

I walk a block.

Left or right? I turn the map so it is oriented properly with my direction of travel. mother%&#!, PAPER, PAPER, effiing PAPER!!! Impatient, I have no recourse but to walk out into the middle of the road. Alas, there it is – the big red building. Calm resumes as I walk into the mall.

Whee! I have two child-free hours to blow, less the 10 minutes I just spent attempting to navigate the streets. Great. Two hours… is what time? Eye-roll…

Better question: when was the last time I even wore a watch?

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