I have had a cold. It was been building and building. I was trying not to take drugs, but it’s impossible. I am too pampered. I pop my pills, and luxuriate in lotion-infused tissues. How in the world did people ever live without those?
I also have been playing games on my phone. I suppose when I was a kid, maybe I read a book, or watched television. Now, I curl up under a blanket on the couch and play “Run in Crowd.” I’m a little eyeball with legs, running along a weirdly three-dimensional landscape (sepia clouds floating behind cliff-sided islands with curly-cued trees and little puffball flowers). And I am running with all of these other little eyeballs. Their names pop up now and again, and I follow them or they follow me. We are all together, running, tripping, falling. And I am totally into it.
I get the feeling this is not relaxing, nor healing behavior. And if I weren’t half-addicted to this game, I wonder what else I could be doing with this time, rigorously spent learning each obstacle and how to “jump” just so with the flick of a finger.
I could be learning Swedish. Knitting. Writing letters and emails. I could be reading the newspaper or catching up on magazines. There’s a stack of novels at the end of the couch, ignored. I could be drawing or painting. Or doing yoga.
I did put the phone down sometimes. I even did some work, despite the post-nasal drip and no voice. I read the newspaper headlines in DN in Swedish and attempted a few paragraphs. And eventually, I picked up the phone to play some games (and check email).
Humans are funny. I will make excuses for us here: We like to turn off our brains sometimes; we like repetitive behaviors. They are calming. I suspect I am not alone.
But what did we used to do, before there were phones, or before t.v. and radio and printed materials? Whittle sticks. Quilt. Needlepoint. Knit (again). Sew together in circles. Sing. Learn to hunt. Farm. Walk long distances and watch the horizon shifting.
Now we walk long distances virtually, or run them in virtual crowds.