Saturday, February 14, 2009

Day four hundred and eight ... The Connection.

We make so many connections every day, it's enough to wear a person out.

From the time we wake up and check our email ...

"Twenty-five new messages?!!"

... to the moment we shut down the hard drive, put the phone in our pocket, and turn on the alarm before we leave for the day.

"Beep ...(computerized voice) doors and windows, on ... beep ... motion-sensors, on ... "

... to the sound our cars make when we push the button to allow us in ... and then the pitch and timbre of the DJ's voice telling us what song we had liked so much, after a few that we didn't. 

To the person who gives you the go ahead to make that left turn at the busy intersection.

They flick their fingers to the side ... and you raise your hand in thanks.

You have made a connection.

To the moment when you finally get through to customer service after being on hold for what seems like forever.

"Hello. I have a question about my bill."

"Well, I'll be happy to help you with that, sir."

Right. Sure you are.

But it's still a connection.

To the doors that open wide in front of you at the supermarket; the man who calls your number at the deli; the person who senses you are in a hurry and moves their carriage horizontally, much to the noncompliance of its wheels.

You have made a connection.

On your way back to the car a stranger smiles and you smile back. You wonder if he liked your hat, and then you find your car again and fill it full of things. 

You give the carriage to the man in the red smock tending to his flock of chrome plated uninspired pack animals. You raise your brow ... he smirks and nods ... you bring yours towards him halfway and give it a little push ... and he takes it from there.

You have made a connection.

And then you go home and put food away--or as far away as it deserves--and you clean the house and wait for a friend to come over to spend some time ...

... and make a connection.

And at some point you may say to yourself, "That's it! I'm done. No more connections. I am--from now until forever--going to live inside my world and keep to myself, and you can all go to hell for all I care. It's just me, and that's how it's going to stay. Buzz off!"

But this is impossible.

We cannot live inside ourselves.

We have to get out.

We have to grow.

We have to use the power in our brain that identifies what is reflected in our retina and relays to the rest of our parts what is going on in an effort to make whatever had come before, up to that point, worthwhile.

And as we sit in front of another person and our eyes travel from the point where we had been staring--the back of a wrist or the curve of a shoulder--and we look and lock eyes, we can take that chance that we have so many times before--some successful, some disastrous, and some completely forgettable--we can let the cards fall all around in a random pattern and hope for the best, because it's all or nothing ... there is no middle ground, there is no "this didn't happen," there is no going back. 

We can take that jump ...

... and make a connection.

Thanks for reading.

Happy Valentines Day.


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