Slow down.

I received a phone call from my buddy sitting in a bar out east this morning.  It went something like this:                                                                                                                      “Dude, I just got a fuckin’ text from my girl saying that we’ve grown apart.”                         “No shit.”                                                                                                                                                “A text.  Not a phone call, not a fucking note, a text.  A little square box of transmitted text that basically put me on a bar stool at 10 am.”                                                                             “How long you been seeing this one?”                                                                                         “Like three weeks.”                                                                                                                     “Grown apart is code for she wants to fuck someone else, or she already has.  Not to make you feel worse, but that’s all that is.  Especially after three weeks.”                                         He went on about their time together, then got around to listening for a minute.  He made a comment about how I should write about it one day, about people in this attention-deficient age, then said not to waste my time because they’d only read the first few lines and go elsewhere.  His boss called.  He ignored the call to wrap it up with me,                         “I should call him back.  Thanks for talking.  I can’t remember how long it’s been since I’ve had a real conversation with someone.”                                                                                         We hung up and I thought about it.  Last week I had a long conversation with a good friend who has a lot of shit falling down around him, but when we hung up I felt the same way, it had been awhile.

There’s a guy I see every morning when I walk my dog.  He walks his dog right past me, and every single time the motherfucker gets within hearing distance, he pulls his phone from his pocket and looks into it like he’s texting someone.  It’s been bothering me for awhile now, but I always forget about him after a few yards.  Friday I remembered, and I watched him after he passed me.  And sure enough, every time the prick passed someone, out came the phone.  I understand not being in the mood to talk to anyone, but there is a true sadness and isolation he gives off, and it’s common today.  But I will say this, with elements like him removed, the day was beautiful.  The water of the bay was black chromoly and the birds dive-bombed the surface then shot back up eating in mid-air.  A really hot Asian girl jogged past us in red shorts that let her perfect ass bounce freely up and down, up and down, -all the sun and all the life of the bay and its air moved with a warmth that transcends all the petty things that burn me out.  I came home and checked my email, then plugged in the old electric and typed letters to some people who had been on my mind the last few months.

About Jeff Stewart

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