Worlds Collide

You’re a lonely looking thing – a paradox in this microcosm of modern society, everybody here and not really here, everybody rushing to someplace they can barely remember they were in such a hurry to get to, rushing to spend money on uselessness, to numb aches with moments so brief they can barely be called such – those miniscule seconds after acquiring something they did not have, addictions told them they needed. In reference to you, little friend, they each have the commonality of paying you indifference where once we paid you coins.

Your reason for existence is gone. You are obsolete in a time we all carry a more compact, much “smarter” version of you in our pockets. It must thrill you every time a youngster picks up your antiquated handset, wondering what in the world you are. And who colored your appendage in yellow anyway? Did they think it would make us more likely to use you? Perhaps your concerned caretaker simply wanted you to be noticed again.

Personally, I miss the days when the only accessories you required were chipped up black and a sweat stained, booger-laden book of numbers with its escort service ads torn out. I remember a time we not only depended on you, we even put you in your own house!

Now that we’ve left your world, what is to become of our current one? Are we too stimulated and too mobile that we cannot bear to stop a few seconds to talk to you? Are we so secluded in our tiny individual worlds within our world that the only time we’d even look your direction would be if our connection’s battery were depleted, and we absolutely had to reach a soul, for the only thing worse than making use of you would be to speak with a stranger so we may borrow their device.
What will become of us, wired one of yesteryear?

How will Superman save us without your glass house to change in?


13 replies »

  1. When my kids were in school the push button phones had just became the norm. In the school office where I spent a lot of time as a PTA mother. We had a giggle when a child needed to call home. The secretary pointed to the rotary phone and the child picked up the receiver and preceded to push her fingers in the holes.

    It’s things like these that makes me a lover of sci-fi movies when someone from the past journey’s to the future. Nice story and it appears your son knew what to do with the phone.

  2. I love your take on this. Really well done. It has taken me back to the telephone boxes on the street, somewhere to hide out in the rain on the walk home from school. Somewhere to giggle with girlfriends. My mobil doesn’t cut it when I think about it.

  3. Interesting take–I enjoyed reading it. Just the other day, I was thinking how long it’s been since I’ve opened a phone book. Does anyone still use those anymore either?

    • Somebody thinks they’re still useful because they keep showing up at my doorstep every year! I think I want to bag up my garbage and drop it at the door of the phone book company. If they ask what I’m doing, I’ll just tell them I’m returning the favor

      • I hear you. And apparently one book is not enough. I receive about 5 a year, which promptly go into the recycling bin.

  4. I liked your story, it’s funny how unimportant pay phones have become over the years! The picture reminded me of when I was five and I would sneak into my parents’ room and I would dial numbers into the phone until it started ringing. When someone picked up I would hang up, giggle, and dial again. šŸ™‚

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