Luke felt like going for a walk, but he was bored with the world around him and the blue sky above him. He decided, instead, to stare at his screen while walking. Here’s his story.
Luke walked passed two women who texted and talked, and he bumped into one of them hard enough to leave her sore for days. It was as if he thought himself a harmless bumper car that could hit others without causing damage. But he nearly caused her serious damage because he knocked her phone loose from the iron grip of her left hand. Fortunately for her, she had good enough reflexes to catch the delicate thing before it smashed into a thousand pieces of plastic.
“Ugh! Scuse you,” she said.
“Whatever,” said Luke.
He crossed the street like a sleepwalking zombie who was completely unaware of his surroundings. Yet, he didn’t seem as scary as a zombie because he blended in with the pedestrian horde who were also glued to their devices as they crossed the street. Luke was the last in the crowd to finish crossing and, while ignoring that the pedestrian timer had run down, came within a hair’s length of becoming a hamburger. See, a cabbie pumped his breaks, his tires screeched like a banshee and passersby gasped at the close call. The cabbie put down the device he was holding with his left and horned Luke.
“Hey buddy, you don’t get bonus points for nearly getting hit by me. Watch where you’re goin’, alright?”
“Hmm? Sorry, I’m in the middle of something important.”
Luke walked around the car and continued on his merry way as if nothing had happened.
Then Luke started adjusting his phone between landscape and portrait mode and, as if life imitated technology, he swerved back and forth while walking on the sidewalk. He then had a small fall off the curb, plopping his massive feet into a puddle. The water rose like a wave and splashed a cyclist who was zipping by in adjacent bike lane. The cyclist could barely see, swerved and nearly clipped Luke with his handle bar.
“The sidewalks are for walkin’, pal. Stay in your lane.!”
Luke looked up for a second, sensing someone was speaking to him, and said, “Can’t you see I got the game on here?”
At long last, Luke came to a quiet area without bikes, cars or any other visible person. The cars must have frozen somewhere up ahead at the nearest intersection because only tumbleweeds were visible. He was now free to walk defiantly down the street’s sidewalk while glued to his phone. He and his screen were alone until a door on a nearby side street swung open and a stranger emerged. The stranger accelerated down the sidewalk rapidly, as is her right, and nearly collided with the wild-walking Luke, who couldn’t stay in a straight line for more than two seconds. His erratic behaviour almost led them to share bloody noses.
“Hey, hero, get a life! I’m sure you got a high score, but put down your phone and keep your eyes off of that screen.”
Luke kept walking until he reached the end of the block before he stopped to process what had occurred.
“Huh,” he said, “what was that sound?”