I stood anticipating discourse upon civic haulage, if not the absence thereof. The issue, moderately familiar, intended for individuals in the direction of dictum on the want of existence on any of London’s subways or means of transportation. This is not since there are no persons on them, entirely the reverse, it’s as the individuals that are on them (the hundreds, tens of hundreds, thousands, millions) look to be deceased from the collar aloft when it comes to transmission. Do not find me amiss, this is not the birth of certain dystopian robot apocalyptic tragedy, (lest the robot apocalypse has been caused by the industrial innovations of the past decade), it’s more of a remark on the shortage of any type of regular interaction amongst the folks and the nearly incestuous affairs they have with their handsets and slabs.
I frequently describe my own handset as an additional appendage, and although I haven’t reasonably got to the point where I’m identifying it by its particular appellation, I am clumsily mindful of just how much I depend on it to get me all the way through the ordeal of civic haulage. The melody I hear masks off the resonances of whatever is transpiring around me and I can avoid even looking at anyone by maintaining my gaze firmly on the screen; playing a match, texting a comrade, probably examining Facebook or just coolly flicking from one app to the next, imploring that the mobile (now at eleven percent) doesn’t croak.
The fellow across from me is so entangled in what’s on his monitor that he has it clutched aloft, afore him, at eye height. Peeking up proposes a noticeably perturbing spectacle. His right eye is a camera lens. Spontaneously, I grow to be fearful. Is he chronicling me? Snapping me? No. (Or at least I absolutely wish not) He’s become so tangled in his handset that it is a lesser amount of border and more extremely direct. Does he recognise how preposterous he looks? A fleeting scan about the coach displays he’s in similarly strange companionship. Around four further individuals are copycatting him, interacting with their mechanisms in the way one may keep a dialogue with somebody resting facing you. But now I’m becoming very eccentric. Keep a dialogue with somebody resting facing you? On civic haulage? Extremely improbable even if you’re together with a companion, tremendously frightening if the individual is an absolute alien.
This is the understood law of journeying in London: do not converse with aliens on civic haulage. In fact, this is only one of the understood laws. There are rather a lot of them and virtually all of them consist of dodging the individuals round you. Do not make eye connection, do not chatter too noisily (lest other individuals think you’re conversing with them) and do not grin. Discounting any of these laws could have calamitous costs: you could make buddies that way. The wickedest type of buddies, made in the intensities of civic haulage, one where you only have one issue shared: that you trekked on the same carriage, pipe or vehicle (god forbid). This is treacherous because, unquestionably, if you can make buddies with one individual, you could make buddies with numerous. I’ve missed tally of how many periods I’ve called that I constantly make “buddies” on civic haulage. These buddies aren’t individuals I converse with, by no means, they are typically fellows who condescend to sit themselves beside me in an empty chair, making me move six inches in the contradictory way and hang on for precious existence. My further hazardous placing makes the broad bend of the carriage that bit more dodgy but is a cost you have to oblige to escape the individual next to you. If you can’t gab to aliens on carriages you absolutely cannot feel them.
The fellow opposing me is noticeably communing (bordering (extremely directing)) in the solitary means tolerable these times. Clasping his handset up to eye equal may placate any discomfiture he feels resting opposing an absolute alien (myself) but it doesn’t conceal the strangeness of it all. We are all so anxious to flee each other, we keep dissolving behind barriers and it’s not just in our own abodes. Out in the planet, visages are no longer visages but are changed into half- humanoid, half-zombie borders and slab -heads (think iPads not ecstasy). We’re socially- hindered industrial masterminds. With awful battery-operated souls.
Note: This piece was inspired from a particular Friends episode where the character, Joey Tribbiani, attempts to sound more intelligent when writing a reference and uses a thesaurus on every word (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b22mJKHi3sw) What we see is a hilarious letter which both makes some sense and none. This piece is a re-imagining (or re-wording) of the original piece Interface (In-your-face).