Sunday, May 08, 2005

after tv

You know the feeling. You've done it a million times. Your show is over and it's time to turn off the tv. It's not as if that would be a bad thing. You know that. You could read. Write. Check email. Sleep. Write up a list of things to do. Yet you can't turn it off. You don't want to. The shallow interiority it pretends to provide feels better than the abyss of thinking. At least, that's what you think when the tv is on. So you surf. The guide tells you what's on. The info button explains in greater detail. It is hypnotic, this enfolding of knowledge in a multicolored menu. You could follow its trail forever.

When it's off, if you can bring yourself to do it, everything feels better. You feel your lungs expand and the sullen resentment at the back of your head dissipate. It's quiet. You can be critical now. You can feel generous. That creativity you watch other people use to sell you things? You have it too, buried in a sleepy mind. A mind looking for a way out of the day. For rest and the blur of checking out.

The sounds of the night filter in the open window. The slam of a car door, the voice of a girl and the windy sound of tires on a wet street. Far away, a siren wheeling like a cicada. And the sound of your heartbeat, and your lover typing in the next room, and the soft whirr of the cable box, and the stir of the living poised, yearning.

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