Home > Uncategorized > Who is getting all those texts?

Who is getting all those texts?

I was fifth in line and growing impatient. I’m blessed with some uncanny abilities, like choosing the wrong line. At an airline check-in line I have managed to be behind the guy refusing to pay extra for his two 200 lb bags. Once at passport control I found myself behind a guy who got on the wrong plane or arrived at the wrong country. In any case he didn’t have a valid visa, knowledge of the language or a clue—after all the checks? How is that possible? At this Costco line I could hear the cashier tell the incredulous woman that her credit card had expired.
“Impossible,” she argued, “I don’t owe them a penny.”
None of the people in front of me seemed aware, let alone bothered by the delay. The four people ahead of me remained aloof, their carts askew. A few years ago I might have chastised myself for being so anxious and might’ve thought their attitude right, proper and healthy. One oversized cart carrying an under counter refrigerator wasn’t quite in line. It had come to a stop at a sharp angle, as if it was trying to sneak in from another line while its owner, a round bellied man with a teenaged daughter, was absorbed by his phone, thumbing feverishly away. Like everyone else in line.
We seem to have evolved into a country of misplaced people who, regardless of where we are, need to communicate with someone who, unfortunately, is somewhere else.
When talking into a cell phone was all the rage, I used to wonder who exactly were all those people talking to, a mystery solved by my children, who call me while they are in transit.
I am not complaining. I like to hear from them and I’m pleased I fill a void in their busy lives. So I imagine that all those on their cell phones are talking to their parents, even if they are driving. Particularly if they are driving.
But since I don’t receive any texts—unless it is a wrong number text—I have no clue what is in them or who is at the other end of all those urgent messages being so assiduously texted by the four people waiting in line ahead of me.
Once the credit card snafu was fixed, the people in line remained so attached to their messaging devices and oblivious to everything else that a clerk had to pull up their carts and unload them onto the belt. Other than me, no one else noticed.
What could be so important that it demands being communicated that very instant at the exclusion of everything else?
This morning I read a news item about a woman who’d run over and killed a boy. She’d been texting while driving. Her response was to flee the scene while texting “I’m an idiot. Just got in an accident and I drove away.”

I have similar misgivings about blogging. I’ve been told many times that I need to write a blog, that otherwise I won’t succeed as a writer. One would think that reading something I’ve had published would better serve an agent or editor to gauge my ability and style [http://bit.ly/L4SmND] and how I deal with subjects that interest me [http://bit.ly/RrQjaO]. Alas, apparently my Google ranking trumps all that. A bad break for me since I have to contend with the Jim Kempner art gallery and its numerous and repetitive references.

I could change my name. Perhaps something like Alexxxander with three xs. That might work. There can’t be many people named that, with or without art galleries. The alternative, writing a blog so compelling that it would trump the art gallery seems improbable. Besides, that’s what I try to do in my writing. And there are so many blogs one has to wonder who is reading them? I can’t. If I read blogs I don’t have time to write or read books. Tweets? Shorter but even less compelling. Who can keep up?

I know all this doesn’t bode well for me and neither complaining or imagining how Salinger would’ve dealt with these issues will help me at all. (I’m not suggesting I should be compared to Salinger. For one thing, he is dead). What makes us think our every opinion, our every thought is so important that it must urgently be shared? Wise men (and women, I’m sure) instruct us to learn by listening, not by talking. I’m sure that I’m far from the first to comment or complain about texting and blogging and tweeting but I must. I’m compelled to do it. That’s why I decided to write about it in my blog.

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