Monday, January 19, 2009

change

Starbucks early on a holiday is fairly mellow. Fewer buses are running, fewer people are running, the fireplace is still not running. Anyway…..I’m sitting here in this subdued atmosphere and thinking about what everyone else is thinking about, change. I have to confess to a certain level of apathy with regards to the national hype. I know, I know, the inauguration is tomorrow and I’ve already been roundly scorned for admitting that I will probably see very little of it. I’ll watch the highlights later in the evening, but I’m going through my own change at the moment, thank you. It’s called grad school and even early in the semester I could be rolled by the amount of work at any moment and once I’m on my back, it’s all over. So I have very little time to view the television in the daytime no matter who is on.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for change. I collect it and put it in a can on top of my dresser. Every once in awhile I even cash it in and buy something with it. Actually, I do think that we need change, but I think that it goes deeper than anyone even imagines. I’m sitting here with two other people. One who is sleeping next to a dark fireplace…probably dreaming of what it would feel like to sit by one that actually works. The other is in another corner pounding away on a laptop. So just a moment ago, the one with the laptop gets up and goes into the men’s room…..carrying his laptop. So now I’m wondering. Is there better wifi in the men’s room? Does he have some type of hideous detachment disorder with personal computing devices? Was the laptop the one really needing to go and being without legs, it asked this gentlemen for assistance? ? Did he think that sleeping guy was just faking and waiting till he left it unattended, only to leap up and run off into the fog with it? Did it look like I needed to upgrade mine? Or is there something deeper still?
Is this really where we’ve come to… that we have to take our computers into the restroom with us for fear of them randomly being stolen? I’ve been here long enough on many occasions, many times with the place full of people, to need a visit to the men’s room. I’ve never felt the need to be accompanied by my laptop. It’s an unwritten law I think. It could get stolen on many other occasions and in many different circumstances, but bathroom breaks are off limits to even the most ruthless of thieves. I have had a laptop stolen before, but that was during a traditional office break in.
So I’m thinking about change and wondering if any that comes about from a new president can even come close to fixing this guy’s problem? Did Mr. Obama ever even consider that we’d need to feel safe during bathroom breaks? How far have we really declined in Western civilization that even bathroom time in our day is not sacred? So on this day before the inauguration, since I wasn’t invited, I’ll offer this prayer from the other side of the country for our new leader. “May the change that comes from this day forward not merely collect in the can on my dresser, but may it be the real social change necessary to bring peace to guys like this. In the end may we not stand around and watch one man attempt change, may we all get involved and demonstrate what it really looks like, in the hearts and minds of men and women….Amen”

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