If I hadn’t actually seen it …

I swanny. What I saw was the perfect example of smartphone addiction, and Stephen King’s book, Cell, immediately came to mind. (At the time of its publishing, the inside jacket panel of the book declared that King did not own a cell phone. I’m sure he’s probably caved by now.)

I was sitting on the mezzanine of a Whole Foods store in downtown Dallas, Texas, just a few evenings ago. The sun was contemplating packing it in for the day. The temperature was probably in the mid 80s and the humidity was on temporary holiday. In other words, a very pleasant time of day to grab an ala carte grub with a four pack of mini-wines and chill after a long day. One of the simple pleasures, to my taste.

Ordinarily I would either be listening to music or reading something from my–okay, okay, my phone!–but I had committed a double bogey on this day. My wireless headphones were out of juice, and I forgot to bring my readers. Now what is a modern man to do?! Even as someone who loathes the smartphone culture, I cursed my plight. But I recovered sufficiently, resigning myself to watching the world below go by while I dined.

It wasn’t that bad. People watching can be fascinating, and I usually gather so many impressions I can’t store them all for later writing fodder. But on this evening, I was determined to discourse on something!

And then I saw it! As I looked down on the intersection of McKinney Ave. and Routh–this is the lower portion of what Dallasites call Uptown, a northern section of downtown where the pseudo-Tony young professionals hang out to observe and be observed. A perfect locale for a–you got it!–Whole Foods store! (If you are asking what I was doing there, I ain’t answering!)

From my vantage point, I spotted this guy holding a smartphone, the body profile of the modern Homo sapiens, right? (I am loathe to admit it but I, too, carry my smartphone in my hand whenever I don’t leave it in the car, which I am proud to say is quite often.) He wasn’t looking at it at the time. When the light turned green, he began to look intently at his phone while crossing the avenue and did so until he reached the sidewalk on the other side. Then he stops looking at it, makes a right turn to cross the other street that bisects McKinney and–as God be my witness–again starts looking at the phone as he crosses the street! Then it gets richer! The moment he reaches the safety of the sidewalk, he stops looking at the phone and actually puts it in his POCKET!!! What the F**K!!! (Pardon the profanity but this scenario begs for authenticity, uncut, un-euphemistic indignation, you dig?)

The world is truly upside down!

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