‘Jesus cleanse’ this:

Timberline Lodge, Mt. Hood Oregon (before the Internet)

Timberline Lodge, Mt. Hood Oregon (before the Internet)

I tried to get into bed to read, the dog was there. I had my phone and Bluetooth speaker. My friend Mike was texting me about his speakers, sending photos, telling me what he was listening to. I got an email from work (it makes a sound when you get a new message, like a rhumba) and responded to it. I went back to my book, forgot where I was. The kids were in Lily’s room and last I checked they had the phone propped up inside Lily’s laptop with content streaming on it, doing homework. Mostly giggling sounds, reacting to the content. And I thought about all the sounds in the house now, these new sounds. Not the sounds of owls outside hooting or mice in the insulation, the sounds of a house settling: these were new sounds, chirps, beeps, here for good. All the space between sounds taken down to no space. The same in our heads, no space. I went downstairs for a drink and when I came up the dog was standing at the top of the stairs nervous, and she got back on her side as I returned and wrote this, and I forgot about my book, checked my phone…and the music played on as I slept, and I woke in the middle of the night confused by it…and the dog swallowed in her sleep and smacked her lips as she did, it made the sound of a wood fire crackling, a real sound.

About pinklightsabre

William Pearse publishes memoir, travel journals, poetry and prose, and lives in the Pacific Northwest.
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16 Responses to ‘Jesus cleanse’ this:

  1. byebyebeer says:

    Really cool post and photo, Bill. There’s a scene in Children of Men where this kid is zoned out and moving his hands (gracefully, beautifully) to some unseen video game that’s wired into his head. It’s a dystopic futuristic movie that came out a decade ago and every year feels more believable. At home, it’s the same as you describe. Our children are becoming wonderful multi-taskers, at least. It makes me happy when my youngest asks to go outside and play, which she does almost every day.

    Liked by 2 people

    • pinklightsabre says:

      I’m glad I found a home for the photo! I took it from a Life magazine picture they have framed in the lobby at that old lodge, in Oregon. The image from that film is something I can really picture…I don’t care for it. I don’t like replacing reality like that. It reminds me of the film Minority Report and the swiping gestures that seemed far-fetched then, but aren’t. If you can imagine it…you can build it. Reminds me of a guy near my mother-in-law’s who does tech development for those heightened reality video games and was telling me at the bus stop how most of those games make people nauseous, they’re so realistic…the brain can’t sort out the mapping to differentiate real vs. not. I’m butchering the details but it made me sick, myself. He was so pale and squinty-eyed, and not good around people. There I go generalizing.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. rossmurray1 says:

    I’ve taken to going into the spare room (we have one now — it used to be my office before we had too many children — it’s becoming my office again because we have fewer and fewer). I shut the door to get away from the sounds. It’s not the noise as such but the timbre — the digital shrillness of tiny speakers. I liked this piece.

    Liked by 1 person

    • pinklightsabre says:

      The digital shrillness, that’s it! My oldest insists on taking all her calls on speakerphone. Dawn thinks it’s cute. I SO don’t! And she carries the phone with her projecting music, too. I guess it’s cute. I don’t know, I’m getting old faster than she is. Glad you liked it, thanks Ross.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Interesting thoughts about sound, and I love the association of the dog lips and a crackling fire. It’s close!

    A few years ago I ran out and got myself a pair of computer speakers with a subwoofer, and that’s made a great difference to my ear drums. Much more natural, whereas the laptop’s itty bitty speaker is like cardboard elves talking to you.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. dave ply says:

    When I started scrolling into this post and checked the picture, I got to thinking “that must be Timberline!” before I even got to the caption, even though it’s changed a bit. I’ve never seen that many people in the fireplace area. Chances are these days half of ’em would be scoping out their smartphones and texting someone, ignoring the person next to them who’s nearly sitting in their lap.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. walt walker says:

    You’re onto something here, duder. I like this one because it strikes a chord with me that I like striking in others. I’m simpatico, is what I’m saying. And you said it well. Also, you’re complicit. And so am I. We’re doomed, and we know it, we see the enemy and he is us. There’s something off, in all of this. We shouldn’t lament the passing of an age as we kind of embrace the new one we don’t like so much, should we?

    Liked by 1 person

    • pinklightsabre says:

      That’s cool. We are a unique gen, ours, with our legs spread over two shifting tectonic plates, moving opposite one another. You, with the monocle holding on. Me, tightening my scarf. Trying to finish my next post now. Stabbing buttons on my phone in the den. Bluetooth. Et cetera. Auto fill.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. walt walker says:

    You the man, man. Gonna go back and read the post again, for old times sake. I’m kidding but I’m not. I’m really am going to re-read it, right now, and the comments, because I need to. Need to make sure I get it and am not knee-jerk reacting. I do this sometimes, I just don’t usually advertise it. Then I’m going to bed, because work in the morning, and no one knows work like I do. I’m the only one can do it.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. (before the Internet) made me laugh. Ain’t that the truth? You should see my girls. All inside themselves, even when there are others around.

    Like

    • pinklightsabre says:

      There’s some parallel between my mid-aged narcissism by way of this blog and my oldest daughter’s with her phone I need to understand.

      Like

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