Saturday, March 3, 2007

Why I'm giving up my iPod

Ipods are good for blocking out the world. Have a bad day? Pop those earbuds in, and you have a reason to ignore every human being around you. Don’t want people sticking fliers in your face on the streets? (Let me tell you, these flier-hander-outers occupy more street corners than the homeless do in Brighton. And they pester you more, too.) Your iPod is a perfect excuse not to have “seen” them.

I went to pick up my photos from SnappySnaps today. (I’m entering an international student photo contest at Sussex University, so I needed to get a few prints developed. SnappySnaps is a digital photo developer on Western Road.) On my way out the door, I forgot to grab my iPod, which has accompanied me virtually everywhere since I arrived in England. It wasn’t worth it to go back just for that, since I was just traveling a few blocks and back, so I continued on my way, sans music.

The girl cattycorner to me on the bus had at stud through the skin above her lip. It was a stupid place for a stud, because her upper jawbone forced it to jut out of her face like a mini antennae. She and her friend, who sat across from her, wore matching coats in different colors: one taupe, one army green, both with fake matted fur on the hoods. They could only have been twelve or fourteen, but they had already mastered the art of stuffing themselves into the tightest jeans possible—a feat made apparent from the roll of skin forced up between the waistband of this girl’s jeans and the hem of her short jacket. Black eyeliner was the finishing touch.

I doubt I would have really looked at this girl, were I listening to my iPod. Did my observation matter? Not really. But I could feel my “writer’s mind” assessing her, and I need to cultivate that mind as much as humanly possible.

I guess I can sacrifice my iPod on at least one bus ride a day.

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