living in a cell

they’re on a date. i guess.

we’re eating at a trendy lunch place. i’m not sure what trendy means, other than my pimiento cheese sandwich costs 10 bucks and there are an obscene number of art-deco elvis paintings. but mo has a hankering for poblano soup, and these guys deliver. i’m not sure what hankering means, but i’m scared of mo when she’s hungry.

they’re maybe 16. the guy has bangs that might have worked when i was in high school in 1974. he’s wearing a proper plaid shirt and khakis. real shoes. i hate real shoes. the girl is wearing a black dress that would work at a cocktail party, if 16-year-olds went to cocktail parties. they’re sitting across from each other as they wait for their order. and they each seem to be unaware that the other exists.

they’re both glued to their iphones. they stare intently, thumbing from page to page, switching from app to app. they never speak; they never look up. at first i think it’s just a quick thing. but after five minutes, they’re still at it. is there a new pokemon lunch app that requires this during meals? is this just a thing now? i kick mo and point it out. she laughs and says she was glad she was born when she was.

their meals come, but they’re undeterred. they eat their sandwiches with one hand while holding the phone up with the other. mo decides it’s not just an awkward date. they must be a couple, she says. they’re sharing phones. sure enough, the girl has handed the guy her phone to show him something. is this the new generation’s equivalent of friendship bracelets?

i try to stealthily take a photo to post to facebook, but it seems too intrusive. which makes me think of facebook. i go there to see if there’s a conversation going on about today’s tour stage. which of course means i have to go to twitter to see updates. then it’s over to velonews and letsrun for other viewpoints. and instagram. just in case. i realize i am totally ignoring mo. but she’s checking her phone too. so i go back guiltlessly to see the latest updates. and then just a peek at the nyt homepage. and then back to facebook. because facebook never sleeps. mo is texting someone from work, so she’s ok with it. the meal goes by quickly.

as we walk out, they’re still at it. slaves to their phones. sad.

i’m glad our generation knows better.


About gary

no sock monkeys were harmed in the making of this blog.
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