From the Back Nine: Old dogs

  • Wednesday, February 3, 2021 1:30am
  • Opinion
Linda B. Myers

I have officially stopped jumping on new communication band wagons. It’s not that I’m a technophobe or as long in the tooth as Methuselah. When in his 969 years do you suppose he stopped learning new tricks? I’m betting for at least the last 869 of them.

I can use a phone. I can text. I can email. I can Facebook. I can Zoom. God help me, I can Tweet. I don’t require anything else. In fact, I’m abandoning more methods than I’m adding. For instance, I am now a Dropbox drop out. I don’t Siri aloud. I am not interested in snappy chats.

The need for instant communication has lost its spell during the age of COVID. Like Old Yeller, Old Blue and Old Dog Tray, old dog Linda is done with new tricks. I don’t need the speed of light to send or receive or store. My sense of self-importance isn’t that self-important.

I miss movie theatres … the thrill of tottering down the aisle, armed with contraband candy to choose a seat, lean back, and let the big screen carry me away more effectively than Calgon. I love audience reaction like instant applause or snide comments as people shuffle up the aisle to the parking lot. For me, watching a movie is a team sport, but I’m afraid that’s gone for good.

I don’t understand how people see new movies now. Are you really paying twenty bucks apiece to watch a new release on a home system with a screen the size of a Sunset Strip billboard?

The best of 2021 may be Zoom (although its competition was lack of decency and the spread of nincompoop-ery). But it can’t replicate the breathy excitement of being in the same room … the body language of a face-to-face conversation. I was on a Zoom call with a group of women I used to meet with twice a month in the old days (2019). When I got off the call, I cried.

Everything about me wanted to reach out to each of them. They all need it. I need it.

I may miss the big screen, but I don’t want to see you that way. I want you, not your image. Disappointing contact may be worse than no contact at all. I don’t know. I’m working on that one.

This column is called From the Back Nine because that is where I exist. As the saying goes, all my best campfires are behind me. I don’t want new ways to communicate. I just want to continue the ones that have worked for me. I want to chat with you over coffee, eavesdrop on the next table, find the humor in most every situation. I don’t want my hug to be your enemy, or yours to be mine.

Linda B. Myers is a founding member of Olympic Peninsula Authors. Her newest historical novel, “Dr. Emma’s Improbable Happenings,” is available at Port Book and News, One of a Kind Gallery, and on Amazon.com. Contact her at myerslindab@gmail.com.

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