I have a habit of taking up a new interest and devoting myself to it so completely that I do little else—for years. I’ve done it with music, the Italian language, bicycles, the study of history. Invariably, I reach a point where I can’t go any farther with a particular study. I begin to feel that it isn’t essential to my life and so gradually I let go of it. I feel this happening with computers now. I started out with Windows around 1996, and switched to the Mac in around 2000. My first Mac had OS X, and I’ve upgraded to each new version as soon as it came out. Right now the Mac world is all excited about Lion, the new upgrade coming out in July. I’m not. I find that I don’t care at all. I doubt that I’ll bother with it. I’ve gotten deeply irritated with the belief that Apple is constantly pushing: that tech must be at the center of our lives. I would rather sit down and play my guitar than download a song from iTunes or stitch together a fake song from pre-recorded loops in Garage Band.
When I look out my window, I don’t see anybody. Everybody’s indoors. I keep thinking I should go outside, sit down, wait for some people to show up, and get into a conversation. Yesterday I went over the hill to the annual North Beach Street Fair where I sat down in a doorway and studied people as they walked by. After a while I realized that I was actually making some people nervous, which reminded me of the famous line from the Gregory Corso poem, “Power”:
Standing on a street corner waiting for no one is Power