Or so it must seem. The earbuds to my iPod are dark with a black cord. I had to give up the white umbilical cord of pop culture to preserve my anonymity. While I occasionally long to be recognized by the others in the cult of the technologically elite, I prefer the indifference of people from lower socioeconomic altitudes without unnecessary overly expensive toys who point their red-hot laser eyes at yuppie scum on the bus. So yah, Iím not standing up for my scummy brethren, but nether will my iPod be ripped out of my pocket due to its screaming, self-advertising white wires.
AnywayÖ the black cord combined with a black jacket, a black shirt, a grey scarf, and trendy over-the-ear hairdo becomes invisible. This is why people assume I can hear them. I canít. I am rocking out. I am watching how the cars move with the surge of the chorus, or noticing how the light of the late afternoon filters through the trees just perfectly with the jangle of Joseph Arthurís guitar on Honey in the Moon. I do not hear you asking me for spare change (your toothless mumble would be difficult to make out if my ears werenít already filled with foam and music) and I donít hear you when youíre yelling ďGus!Ē and waving at me from across a 4-lane street. I do not hear you say hello at the bus stop, and when I notice you, pull out an earbud, and say ďwhat?Ē I find it irritating when you say ďoh nevermind!Ē Iíve got the damn thing out, now you donít want to say anything? Fuck you! Itís 8am! Leave me alone or donít Ė doing both at once doesnít work.
So pal o mine on the street, I donít dislike you, Iím not avoiding you, and I want to say hello, I just donít know youíre there. Get in my face and kick me in the shins. Homeless mumbler, I donít have change for you. There are too many of you on the street in this town for that to be a manageable way for me to donate. Iíll try to smile, but if I look confused? Itís because Iím confused. If I keep going, it just means you arenít dancing to the rhythm of Fat Bottom Girls, and my eye is drawn to the bike messenger on the corner whoís pedaling to the beat.