Our society is disconnected. Is that the independence our founding forefather's sought? Was the goal to reject the monarchy so we could all wear a crown in our own home? I'm seeking my own independence, from devices that keep me connected to society.
Simplification is a struggle. The Pilgrims dubbed the landing spot Plymouth Rock because they couldn't pronounce the Native American words. To the Puritans, it seemed the locals went on an ancient version of Wheel of Fortune and bought all the vowels. How glorious it must have felt to just grab a musket and re-name a state in under seven letters.
I want to simplify. I dream of liberty. You know our shared desire of marching into our local market to free the lobsters? I picture that same event but I'm slo-mo running toward the ocean ready to throw all of my electronics into the sea. I'm stopped by guilt and social awareness. The beach is monitored by cameras, I'd get locked up like those lobsters. Like Poe's The Tell-Tale Heart, my discarded VCR is already blinking in some landfill.
The only place I'm free to roam is over cable. I have five remotes and one television. Last night I didn't watch one single show, because I couldn't. I punched every button on each remote. I pressed them all twice and really hard. I think I raised the neighbor's garage door. I dropped the remote and turned off all my lights, praying no one knocked on my door. A face-to-face would freak me out.
I catch myself holding my iPhone as I walk around town, and quickly toss it into my other hand. Sure I'm worried about device dependence but more importantly I fear one arm is getting longer from the extra weight. There are camps where you can spend a week and $3000 to get weaned off your electronics. They're all in Malibu, which makes me now distrust Malibu. You pull through their gates -- maybe it's a former Charlie Sheen compound -- where some hippy yanks you out of your Prius, grabs your iPad and waves burning sage over you. I'd spend the whole week choking from the smoke. I'd sit shivering in a puddle of my own urine, desperately worried about the emails piling up. I'd probably have a heart attack, which I fear wouldn't be covered by my new California insurance plan because I didn't have their app activated on my phone that pre-detects arrhythmia.
I'll spend the 4th at home, meditating on the state of my independence, staring at a blank television screen. I'll enjoy the booms from the nearby fireworks but hope they don't land on my roof. I couldn't take firemen busting in my home. Have you seen them? They're in incredible shape. It's too intimidating.
I'll keep trying to embrace the concept of letting go. Let freedom ring, it can always go to voicemail.