I can survive without Twitter. It’s not an easy endeavor at first — but once the option turns into reality — the stream of consciousness begins and suddenly I’m tossed into a bin of brain matter that congeals with tempered glee.
The storm temporarily disabled our source of power and the timing was iffy since I was busy implementing the edits to a piece that needed to be ready for print by the next day. When the steam from the shower disappeared in the dark and I was dressed for the day — that’s when I knew the hours would be hard.
In the meantime — there was the threat to the veins of batteries as my Macbook Air and iPhone proved their vulnerability — as the minutes went by with no signs of life from the boxes that supply the connection to an existence that we’ve all accepted as the basis for functionality.
As panic set in at the thought that I would be rendered helpless, powerless and potentially wordless for eternity— a wave of euphoria swept over me when I tried to check the time on the screen and realized that it had been tapped out.
If I didn’t have the strength of my mother’s device — I would’ve had to approximate based on how long I left the gym — an hour before I was thrown into a familiar but weirdly difficult zone of abrupt disconnect.
The first thought that hit was how my mind turned on once the lights were out.
Even before I left the shower and scrambled in the dark for the items I had deposited before the black out — my senses were already ushered into action.
I had to feel. I had to feel that I was feeling. I had to feel what I was feeling. I had to be open to feeling wrong and then feeling again.
Opening the jars of lotion and realizing the difference in texture — touching my garments and making out the undies from the shorts and trying to figure out if the shirt was inside out. It was a dance of recognition that ended with a win — and the reassurance that taking your time even when you don’t have a lot of it — can be a refreshing switch.
All dressed up and nowhere to go physically or around the web wasn’t the plan — but the unexpected can turn into a much-needed respite from the headiness of endless surfing — that gathers a moss of weight without proper deposits.
As I lounged on the couch — I appreciated the voices around me. My parents casually conversating about the couple from church who were keeping their distance — blended well with the convo in my head as I was re-introduced to the self that I had discarded like a useless habit.
She quietly chided me for neglecting the good old days — when a paper and pencil were the instruments of choice. Imagine how much I would’ve accomplished by now if I had been editing with those?
Instead — here I was — disconnected from being connected because my connection had been forced from me with the discipline of Mother Nature.
And so I yielded and became possessed.
It was a violent assault of thoughts that began to unfold with fury as I had to withstand a roster of negligence on my part. The job applications — waiting to be sent for consideration. The check up for that thing that could signal the other thing that might not be a good thing. The emergency room bill that needs to go away — before it shifts to the evil people who get paid to harass. The bottle of red wine that I knocked over and need to replace. The phone call to the friend that I want to be friends with again. The health insurance that is non-existent that has to be activated so I can finally take care of that thing.
What is that thing anyway? Is it going to kill me because I waited too long?
I wouldn’t mind dying before my parents. Life isn’t all that great anyway. Wait! Why am I saying that out loud?
I pick up my phone and begin the habitual swiping but the black screen flashes my eyes — and just like that — I’m awake.
The howling wind is louder than I remember and one of the tree branches actually broke and fell to the ground. I didn’t hear it. I was too busy thinking.
And now I’m feeling again.
The hunger pangs get stronger and I decide on a turkey sandwich with the lettuce I just remembered after a week of assuming it wasn’t there. In between breaks from the frequent grasp of Instagram — you tend to rush into the fridge and whip up the gawkers — while the hidden gems continue their extended nap.
It feels good and tastes even better to wake up the goodies — and munch without scanning timelines or pushing down on anything that is meant to light up. This brand of wheat bread with the embedded grains is exquisite and mayonnaise mixed with mustard isn’t that bad at all — if it’s done wisely.
My father is sitting in his armchair and I weirdly ask why he still holds a grudge against Black Americans. I mean I know the seventies were rough for the African community in America but — it’s been awhile now.
We get nowhere except to the agreement that he should please keep those comments to a minimum because they kinda offend me. Once the quiet between us settles — he surprisingly expresses his willingness to take my cue and curb the nonsense. He doesn’t use that word — but I get it.
Then the noise of the microwave beeping into submission erupts and all the gadgets chime in unison.
I think it’s finally time for a nap.