I sit on a large American deck, in a large American chair. Eating a muffin that could easily feed three large Americans, if they were paying attention. I am surrounded by large American houses, too large by half for the families within. But what the hell, I'd buy one myself, if I had the means. The houses are nestled around a large man-made lake, also American. The air is filled with a symphony of lawnmowers, keeping the grass civilized. The next house over, a group of middle-aged women laugh too loudly over bridge and cocktails. Suburbia, baby. The American Dream. Cheever people in the flesh. My roots.
Artificial, you say? Unnatural, you say? Hopelessly bourgeois, you say? I would have agreed once, but marking the difference between city, suburb and country is now pointless. There is now only the difference between the real world and the virtual world. Because we have all lost touch with the real world, haven't we?
I am writing longhand in the sun, entranced by the drone of the lawnmowers, untethered by the electronic chains that bind me. Free, if for just a moment, from my self-imposed prison of connectivity. Anarchy in the backyard.
I will not be answering your texts. Your IM messages. Your facebook messages. Your emails marked URGENT!! Your grammatically unsound tweets. Your phone calls, shouted unintelligibly into a bluetooth. You look like a crazy person, talking to yourself. Stop it!
You are just going to have to wait. Because I do not like who I have become. This once focused person who is now just another ADHD butterfly. This once voracious reader who now cannot conquer more than three pages at a time as he skims the text with one eye on the page and one eye on the iPhone. This once prolific writer of songs and prose who now spends most of his time harried and distracted by a barrage of mostly useless information. This man who is so busy all the time, but getting hardly anything done. No, I do not like who I have become at all.
So I am going to continue to sit on this deck in the sun. And in regard to your email, your text, your tweet, your IM, your MySpace comment, your Plaxo post, and/or your call of twenty-four June, I will not be responding. Bartleby said it best: I would prefer not to.