The Dolphin and the Smartphone

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Rosita gatita, contemplating my words

“Waking consciousness is dreaming – but dreaming constrained by external reality”  ~  Oliver Sacks

“Attempts to wake before our time are often punished, especially by those who love us most. Because they, bless them, are asleep. They think anyone who wakes up, or who, still asleep, realizes that what is taken to be real is a ‘dream’ is going crazy.”~  R. D. Laing

It is one of those mornings that harkens back to Massachusetts, and I don’t know why. That was Worcester, where these memories were born. Sometimes I think of it as a cross-time phenomenon; these memories are here, where once they were, at their inception, there, and I’m like all ‘here, here’ about the whole affair. It is, at the moment, 16º F and 93% humidity. I got those stats from the internet, interestingly enough. That means a lot to me. You kids have no idea what you hold in your hands, or what sits on your lap, or in front of you on your desk. Take all the selfies you want, children. You have no idea. You grew up with this technology. How lucky you are, yet how little you know. It is experience and time that I am on about here. For me, the advent and blossoming of personal computers and the internet has been one of the more breathtaking experiences in my life. Listen, I’ve communed with a pod of dolphin while lying prone upon the bowsprit of a sailboat. And I’ve been in the water with a single bull dolphin who was clearly pissed that I was there, and he made his antagonism known through a pattern of close, very close, passes at high speed, roughly buffeting my body with each pass. And I have been within six feet of a mother dolphin and her two babies, as they passed beside the tiny jetty where I sat beside a woman who’s beauty made me tremble way more than once. Hey, she also royally pissed me off nearly as many times, like the time she called me at 1 AM to tell me that she’d just gotten laid, in a dinghy, back in Florida Bay, and my obvious incredulity apparently spurred her on to explain that she had just “fornicated, but it felt so good!”. I’m sure. Of course now I know that I should have told her to drop by the apartment, since I was already awake, so that she could demonstrate exactly what she was talking about. I was so unclear about what was happening that I went on to attend RCIA classes at the local Catholic Church, where she was a parishioner, just in case I might find a clue there. She was, you see, what she called a Charismatic Catholic, a sect with the propensity to watch for the Sun spinning in the sky as a sign of the Apparition of the Blessed Mother. I was in over my head; this much was clear. And there was the night when we took shrooms and wandered along the backroad on Plantation Key, where we ended up trespassing on somebody’s estate. I climbed up onto a small crusty coral boulder and took off my shirt so that I could breathe in the sensation of the stiff midnight wind against my bare chest. She gasped and admonished me that it was scandalous to expose myself like that in a public place. I just took my tee shirt and tucked a bit of it into my back pocket, where it dangled as we wandered on into the night. After only a few months of hanging out together I fell into the first and most scary bout of depression in my life. Last I heard she had married into money and was living in Palm Beach. Yet she also provided immense emotional support through phone calls while I was helping my mother die. So, what does this have to do with digital devices and the internet? There were PCs and Macs back then, but I didn’t have one. I write these stories for you because I was able to  .  .  .  oh, never mind. Suffice it to say that I did not meet her online. This is the cross-time thing I mentioned earlier. I can still smell the salt air. Because I am still there. Now, if you suspect that I have inadvertently drifted into obscure prose here, think otherwise. I just got my first smartphone, just yesterday. Major impact. Trust me on that. And I find myself wanting to call her, but she took on a married name, so I cannot track her down online, I cannot get to hear that sweet Georgia Peach accent again, and I cannot stop thinking about her this morning. And what if I had this little Samsung smartphone back then, and I had taken a selfie of me atop that rock? Well, I was buff back then, from landscaping and tree trimming, both buff and deeply tanned; and my hair hung in sun-bleached waves alongside my head. I was a sight to see, and my intellect and sense of humor were at a peak from spending time with her. I was a lucky man, but I did not have a sailboat, much less a dinghy. Hey, do I sound sexist here? Not really. You don’t get this stuff online, my child. The heady level of consciousness where these memories were born would only be scrubbed out and pasty online. Oh, wait! She knows where I live and she knows my name. She could track me down online, and we could have a conscious conversation over our smartphones. So, in closing, I am sending out a telepathic message. Cher, my love, look me up, please! I’d dearly love to hear from you. We have a trans-temporal bond, my dear. I know you can hear me. Send me a selfie as well, so I can see if you have aged even half as well as I expect you have. The world has changed immensely since we last spoke, only ten years ago, my friend. We are all of us more connected now. And unless you call me in the near future I will have to say that this modern interconnectivity is somehow lacking, that it has taken us all down a few notches from the place of heart song and soul music. Call me, my love. And for you blog readers here – this is not about Cher, and it is not about me. That is perhaps what I am getting at. I mean, I just got my first smartphone, and look where it took me, right off the bat. It only serves to prove to me that we are indeed all interconnected. Am I still being obscure here? Never mind. Think Kerouac. I’m just spouting off.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

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