When the phone rings at two in the morning, it means nothing but damn trouble.
This is how many classic crime stories begin, where the phone rings in the middle of the night, turning someone’s life into hell. You know it, and yet you answer it.
The noir era has passed irrevocably, and so has the massive ebonite elegant adorned with a distinguished dial. You no longer slam the earphone heavy like a meat pestle into the fork. Now a flick of the finger on a screen the size of a smokes case does the trick. One thing that hasn’t changed is the unobjectionable ringtone.
‘Mobile’ is nothing more than a leash. You are reachable no matter where or when. In your pocket, you carry a device that is at once a phone, a networked computer, a television. And it communicates with you around the clock. Ringing, buzzing, beeping, and when you mute it – vibrating. Always, everywhere, no matter the time of day or night. It rings from relatives and strangers, it rings from doorbusters and automats. If they don’t call, they write. Salesmen, interviewers, debt collectors, preachers, and scammers.
Sound, flash, nose in the screen. You follow the news, the ads, your friends’ profiles on social networks. You live someone else’s life. Your own life is dictated to you. You are roused from sleep by a digital alarm clock and the weather is set by a weather app. Digital tastemakers choose your entertainment, dietary algorithms count the empty calories of fake food.
You accept all this. Until you discover you’re holding your own leash. You already know what to do.
You unhook it. You cross the line that separates you from real life.
Now you say goodbye to the day with a sunset. You feel the chill of the night and the taste of coffee brewed in a cauldron over a campfire. The smell of smoke carried by the wind. You sit in the glow of the flames completely without a leash. Just like your dog. You’re entertained by the thought that this is an unusual situation for both of you.
Now you notice that real life is everywhere? In every spark dancing against the fading sky, in the crackle of wood in a campfire. The air is permeated with the wet smell of the forest. Problems fly away like shadows frightened by the glow. Most of them are as apparent as a world whose boundaries are defined by wifi range.
You look at the fire and think: here is a powerful element at my service, it gives me warmth, in a moment it will give me hot food.
The gifts of nature are blushing on the cast iron frying pan.
It has been a long time since you ate so truly and simply.
You are in bliss and peace. You are where you belong.
You taste freedom with all your senses.
You are offline.