Sunday, December 18, 2011

Snapshots of Phone Etiquette

Traffic was crazy
But what was worse
Was the lady in front of me
Painting her face with one hand
While driving with the other.
Her head crunched to the side
Pinching a phone to her shoulder.
She didn't go when the Go Light said Go.
All she could see were the unmoving
Vehicles stuck behind her.

A "quick" dash to the grocery store
To get the anti-motion sickness pills
Turned into a marathon while
The woman opposite the cashier
Was more interested in her conversation
Than she was in paying and letting
The rest of us get our food and things.
She talked and talked while
My dramamine rattled in my hand
And the ice cream began melting
In the cart behind me.

Back on the road was a guy
Weaving line to line in his lane
While holding a plastic box
To his ear, and occasionally
Gesturing with his other hand.

Miraculously arriving at terminal parking
My car slides into a free spot.
Two rows over I hear a conversation
While three rows back is a second.
They face each other pausing at the right times.
They could be in conversation with each other.
They aren't talking to each other
But it looks like that. Crazier is the person
On the shuttle talking to the empty space
In front of her. Phone, no phone?
Can't tell. Hair covers her ears.

She's angry at whomever she's speaking.
Angel, demon, sister, employee?
Hands flail in the air with more emotion.
Can't the conversation be put on hold
Till there's some privacy, or is it madness?
It's even hard to find the clues to the answer
In how she's dressed. Not business, not casual,
Not pajamas neither. Formerly nice clothes that
Either a frugal or homeless person would wear.

At the gate, a man starts talking to me
Loudly and rudely. "Hey. What do you think you're doing?"
I look up from my magazine
Only to see that he's facing my direction
But he's not looking at me.
His eyes are focused on a dust mite
Three feet in front. But he's interrupted my activity
And all those around him. And now we'll be
Entertained by his conversation, forced to watch
A show we didn't want to see, and hear
A play we didn't want to know about.
My seat mates and I learn more about his case
Than we do about any episode of "Law and Order".

Really? Why not put our entire lives on Facebook
As well as our work activities. It's the same
As when we talk in public. Oh, wait! Maybe we already do.

Really? Why not bungee jump with a cord that's 3 feet
Too long because that's the risk we take while driving.

Really? A phone has become Maxwell Smart's cone of silence
Blocking out the rest of the world. When we're on the phone
I am the only one that exists. You all can just wait
Till I'm done or dead.

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