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  • I texted a friend last night saying "...give me a ring when you return home."

    He texted back this morning "Sure, I can call today. Is it anything pressing?"

    My answer: "No. Just wanting to go old school and actually talk to a human..."

    No response. No phonecall. No surpise.

    At first I laughed (at my own response) but then grew concerned, as it is a pattern I am seeing all the time: if it is not urgent, if there is not a need to be addressed, a question to be answered, more and more I find that we are not talking. Not me and him in particular but me and everyone I know, generally

    Last night I called my father too, just because. We don't do this, he and I. I did not acknowledge Father's Day weeks ago because it is not a big deal in our house to my husband (and kids) and as for my own relationship with my father, well, it feels like a farce. He takes the initiative to call me exactly once a year - on my birthday, and the rest of the Hallmark holidays are my responsibility: Father's Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, his birthday. He takes great offense if I do not abide by these rules. Even when I do, the conversations are ridiculously shallow, disappointing:

    - Hi! How are you?

    - Great! The kids are up to.... and how are you?

    - Great! We are heading to....

    I hang up the phone depressed, downtrodden. "It's not supposed to be like this..." I think as I drift off to sleep. By the morning that greyness is gone, having skillfully been pushed far off shore. Whoooosh! Done. On to the next thing...

    So no, I elected not to engage this go around. Why promote an illusion only to be disillusioned once more?

    All of this strikes me as twisted, unnatural. I don't remember relationships playing out this way, by these rules. Or maybe I am outdated, sentimentally wanting too much - a casual chat, a summertime shoot-the-shit, if you will? Like I remember doing when I was younger, before we used all of this technology, when we all seemed to have more time, more genuine concern.

    So without a moment's hesitation, or any sort of confrontation, I'll distract myself, swallow the disappointment, divert my attention into other communication vehicles - writing essays for strangers to read for example, posting on facebook, managing comments and "likes." No delusion here, I know what this is - a desperate need for connection. At times it feels enlivening, enlightening, entertaining but at others disastrous and pathetic, Ray Bradbury-esque.

    Remember "The Veldt?" I still get chills when it occurs to me that Bradbury's dark futuristic vision does not seem *too* terribly far away from where we are now. Frightening. Who is running the show? What's calling our shots? Staring into whatever abyss is handy, in a rare quiet moment, I ponder

    Where are we going, all of us? What the fuck have I/we become?

    Call me if you know. Or even if you don't. Reach out please, like we all used to, just because.


    Note: The Veldt: http://www.veddma.com/veddma/Veldt.htm
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