Wednesday, April 12, 2006

But Who Was Winning The Argument?

Walking home on Sunday from the local Kroger, trying to carry four bags of groceries in one hand and smoke a cigarette with the other, I passed a rather large woman with long brown hair wearing a lime green sweater who was waiting at the sheltered bus stop in front of the Whetstone Recreation Center here in my Columbus, Ohio neighborhood of Clintonville. I noticed her because she was talking very loudly, so much so that although I could not make out her words I could hear her voice all the way over on the opposite side of High Street (the very street, as you may have guessed, from which this blog derives its name), occasionally angrily, and apparently to herself, or maybe some imaginary friend or voice inside her own head, which may account for her volume in that she may have been attempting to drown out the internal demons that haunted her. I assumed that she was talking to herself because there was no one else anywhere near the bus stop, except for me on the opposite side of the street, and she wasn't holding a cell phone. Her hands, when she wasn't gesturing broadly or waving them about to make a point, rested on her legs, which straddled the corner of the bus stop bench. I also saw no evidence of any headset, though at that distance I might have missed it. Of course, if she'd had a speaker or microphone practically in her mouth as she would have with either a regular or hands free cellphone, there would have no need for her to be so blasted loud. I won't go so far as to proclaim the woman crazy and risk coming out on the negative side of the proverbial pot/kettle rebuke, but it was fairly clear that she was talking to herself.
Sometimes, though, it's hard to tell these days. With the proliferation of cellphones in the last decade or so, especially the smaller hands free headsets, it is occasionally difficult to gauge at first blush just who is really crazy and who is merely very busy or very popular. To tell the truth, I often wonder just how many of the people I see talking loudly into their cellphones, seemingly oblivious to their surroundings or the volume of their voice, actually are talking to themselves and merely using a lifeless cellular phone as a prop, attempting to fool the world into thinking that they are not as detached from reality as they must know that they are.
In fact, I have once or twice considered buying one of those candy dispensers I have seen that look like cell phones and hold it next to my ear as I walk the sidewalks of Clintonville occasionally composing, out loud, my next pearl of wisdom for The Word From On High.

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