Last week I lost my phone to a bicycle ride. It was over the crest of a speed bump. This speed bump was not the kind over which you need to be going less than five miles per hour; the kind of speed bumps that litter the parking lots of strip malls and government buildings, the kind that cause spilled coffee and chipped teeth. No, it wasn’t that kind of speed bump, because that kind of speed bump forces you to be aware of it, I’m talking a slow down or I will scrape the transmission off of the bottom of your car kind of awareness. The speed bump that sent a jolt through my bike, through my body and ultimately through my phone as it was ejected from my back pocket was one of those barely rounded asphalt hummocks that crop up on roads with a common interest in wealth and incline. At first I didn’t see my phone so much as heard the thrashing grating hollow sound and then I saw it, the little black piece of plastic sliding along the rough surface of the street, coming to a halt just this side of the center divider. We had been descending and my guess is that little miracle of science hit the macadam doing at least forty miles per hour. Done. The little screen was shattered, the silence switch refused to yield an affirming buzz, and for a moment, for a brief moment I was upset.
The thing I found interesting about this moment is just that, it was a moment. I wasn’t really to upset. Yes this was going to have to be something to fix, money to spend, but I wasn’t that affected. Lets avoid getting to deep into diagnosing this feeling; capitalism, privilege, and the constructs of the first world. I want to chalk up this quick turn around to sunshine and exhaustion. Portland has just had its first week of what felt like summer, and even though it has decided to briefly regress in the form of monsoon rains, there remains the undeniable feeling that summer has arrived. Portland summers are fantastic. When summer finally happens here it’s like waking up in a musical – everything seems to be perfect and in sync. This euphoria, when combined into a physical state of exhaustion, leaves one in do-no-wrong blissful stupor, making what had the potential of becoming a depressing “why me?” situation nothing more than an excuse to muse about the wonders of exercise and vitamin D. In the end it’s the freedom from the machinations of our minds that lead us to push ourselves to do the things that we do, because as the action becomes tougher and the enjoyment level become higher everything else is pushed away, the nagging begging little shitty things that clutter up your mind are banished. All that is left is the rudimentary feelings of hurt and desire like great big balloons inflating to fill the whole space forcing everything away. We search these feelings out because that is what we are hard wired to do; it’s bedrock, its fight or flight.
I have a new phone and the world or what I choose to see of it still passes through that little device filters on blinders running, I don’t expect this thing to last forever. I guess in retrospect I am just happy to be able to have some sort of choice as to when the hurt comes and the bliss takes over.