The world is a strange place, and, after you have lived in it for a long time, you begin to wonder if it’s you that’s been left behind, dwelling on a past that has long since disappeared into, well, I’m not quite sure what.
A portal, maybe.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could step back, if only to observe, what it was life in a different time, one where you weren’t swamped with bills requiring both parents (if there were two parents in the picture) to work long hours, having to put up with recalcitrant children whose idea of life is not from family interaction, but the Disney channel, an underground system that wasn’t failing, and newspapers that have lost their way trying to compete with the immediacy and inaccuracy of that new thing called the internet.
Ah, yes, those days when you could sit down with a newspaper, read what could be described as news, and at the end of it, do the crossword over a decent cup of coffee, served by uiniformly dressed, and cheery, serving staff. I’m not sure what finds it’s way into a throwaway cup at a lot of the coffee shops these days.
I don’t think, now I look back, that there wasn’t a time when the subways weren’t going through some sort of upheaval, expansion, or repairs, but it just seemed to be better. Perhaps it’s the blame game that makes it seem worse than it is. Rush hour was still rush hour but it seemed more civilized. Or maybe it’s just me.
I can live without the internet, and mobile phones. Sure, they are very convenient and give you the immediacy of contacting people instead of having to find, and then use a payphone, and finding the money to feed it, but wasn’t it more fun to get lost, not having a GPS, or having to try and read a map and basically know where you had to go before stepping foot outside the front door?
And what happened to nightclubs and meeting people over a few drinks and polite conversation. Of course, there was radio and television, and movies, but human interaction was once a thing. So was dancing, not that I was any sort of rival for Arthur Murray. Now, it’s all texting and social media conversations in abbreviated mumbo jumbo, and very little face to face time even when sitting next to each other.
And I’m not sure what people do these days, but it certainly isn’t dancing. A few drinks are now more about binge drinking until you’re wasted or worse, and it seems you need to have a cocktail of drugs just to keep up with everyone else, or presumably to have a good time, not that you would remember any of it.
Hang on, did I say I woke in the middle of a nightmare.
I was wrong.
I woke up in the year 2020, didn’t I? 60 odd years into a future I could not have predicted when I was a child, nor where I don’t feel like I belong anymore. And who could have predicted a pandemic?
Maybe if I go back to sleep I might wake up and find the Dodgers are still playing at Ebbet’s Field. And I think I could take the semblance of a cold war over terrorism any day of the week.