Thursday, March 22, 2018

Video Calls

My journey into the heart of small town America east coast was full of any number of odd conversations on the periphery. 

Most of the journey being as expected, but with they rides I had taken the previous day I figured any interaction with the locals could be a toss up. It's not that I am that much of a snob being genetically a city girl, but apparently I do have my moments. 

In the bar the night before a very clear "old timer" sat down next to me. There were five seats between me and the next group of guys at the bar, so this was very clearly meant as a way to easily engage me, even though I was sitting in front of my computer doing a last minute tear down and rebuild of the work I would show off in the morning. He asks questions about whether they play music and then asks me if I play an instrument. I want to be polite and engage, but I also really need to do the work and I'm exhausted. I am polite, I say yes, then point the screen to indicate the work. I could almost feel his sigh of sadness walking away. 

The next morning I'm in the hotel having coffee and finalizing the tear down and rebuild when the gentleman, also on the road, next to me starts having a very loud conversation on his phone. I look over and realize he is on a video call and for some reason this strikes me as strange. There is this moment when I have a flash from my childhood and it is as if I am watching the future on screen, a scene out of Demolition Man where everyone calls by video...the future...the now. I try not to listen but he is so loud. 

"Honey, honey, did I tell you I was talking to Paul yesterday?"

Her answers are inaudible to me, so I only have one side of the conversation. He continues. 

"Yeah, I'm talking to Paula and he won't put his camera on, you know. And I'm talking to him like 'Paul, what's up man, I can't see. You, right? And then, it's Paul, you know how he is, right. So I'm like Paul, how you been, how you doing man, and he's like 'I really can't talk right now, I've got a situation."

I try not to lean in to listen, but at this point I'm not sure if care that the speaker may notice. 

"Situation, Paul? And he's like 'Yeah, I've got...look, can I call you back, I'm sort of covered in lotion and it's everywhere, you caught me in the middle of something here.' And that's when I realized he was in a porn store again." 

To prevent myself from laughing I employed every Bene Gesserit body control breathing trick that I new how to employ. 

The conversation went on, but I had lost too much focus to follow the rest of it. 


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