We Kept Walking

She took a step forward hoping to beat the rush, no one is quite sure who she was, only that she belonged to a group of mavens, who numbered ten percent. One after another the mighty ten percent moved toward the promised land leaving homes, jobs and families adrift in a sea of mediocrity.

New signs were manufactured, exacting specifications embedded in code, bold colors welded onto dramatic vision, speeches were given, papers written, web design was outsourced and from darkened rooms servers howled. The message was unmistakable, this was the new thing, a creation promising infinite power to early adopters, everything that had come before would be pulverized under its massive heel.

All the signs pointed in the same direction, and no one questioned the direction or logic, no one asked why as the crowds swelled or why seemingly sane people fell in behind dazed hordes, lemming their way toward Brooklyn. Loudspeakers crackled n hummed with  repetitive instructions lulling the masses into cortical submission, “keep walking, follow the one in front, keep walking, follow the one in front.”

At night when we rested, we sat in circles swapping stories of huge cities now empty except for roving bands of the connected, those lucky ones who have received the wifi implant, those lucky ones who swap sensations between themselves, amusing themselves with the new world currency, currency built upon sensations of pleasure, group pleasure, awareness of many at once. Some tell stories in hushed tones of special connected people called Webs. It is said that Webs can connect with thousands of minds at once, transcending the limitations built into the wifi network chips.

From every state and far away land we’ve come, in planes, on bicycles and in wheel chairs, but mostly on foot we’ve made this journey to Brooklyn, home of the lone implant center. The lucky ones who’ve made it stand in line while robots staple a wifi chip behind their ear, embedding it into their brain. Staple staple staple, another one is done, “next” they yell.

The stinking rot of self  lives on in poets and flash fiction writers, but soon they too shall give in to networking or starve… It’s rumored that a few live alone in Vermont but no one knows for sure, at night sitting in our circles for warmth we laugh at such stories surely we say they are but leftovers from the denial movement, and could not be happy, they are cut off not connected not tuned in. No tears are shed for those who refuse to become connected.

My own story is typical of the millions of pilgrims coming to Brooklyn. I had a vision while living in New Hampshire of the promise that would transform society, the promise of being connected, of never being alone again.

I struck out and wouldn’t give up. Trudging in a rain so hard it obliterated cracks in the sidewalk, cars bobbed helpless becoming immobilized like toys, we kept walking. Drenched through to our bones we darted around downed electric lines spitting fire. We kept walking. Up the streets and across avenues we sloshed, crying out loud from our arduous journey. We kept walking.

From a doorway a little girl reached up to tug my sleeve, and in a barely audible voice asked “why”? I shook free from her tenuous grip and continued sloshing forward, but stopped for a brief moment, turned and yelled back at her pathetic form lying in the doorway, “Social Media.”

13 thoughts on “We Kept Walking

  1. *Shudder* And as we all march along, or are swept along, towards our future…

    Great story! Way too accurate. Maybe I'll move to Vermont. 🙂

  2. A chilling tale of a potential future. Who knows what madness we will all descend into? I loved 'lemming their way toward Brooklyn'.

    Fabulous, thanks for sharing that with us.

  3. “keep walking, follow the one in front, keep walking, follow the one in front.” – "This was the new thing" – "they are cut off not connected not tuned in." – Wonderful use of phrases we might recognize to build this terrible future.

    A great atmosphere to this piece, and I too loved "lemming their way toward Brooklyn". An inspired image.

    Well done.

  4. Atmospheric and not a little chilling. Like the 'lemming' verb too. This vision of 'social media' seems anything but social. great stuff.

  5. Scary vision of the future, perhaps not all that far off. Resistance is futile. I cringed at, "Staple staple staple, another one is done". Good stuff.
    ~jon

  6. Personally, I liked the line about writers willing to starve, rather than to be absorbed into the movement. Let it be so.

    • Stephen, I can tell you I would be in Vermont starving before I'd have an implant in my head, thanks for stopping by.

  7. I think I much prefer the One Source of which we are already an interesting, unique, beautiful and integral part naturally than to become yet another blip in a machine and yet to my horror and dismay, I have already submitted by the very thing that carries my words, my texts and even takes me to the grocery store. We are all connected in this superficial electronic way – too connected. We were better off finding our way to each other within I think. But I have strange ideas. 🙂 This was a really great piece and I really felt it. Thank you.

    • Hi Jaie

      Thanks for your comments, I’m in agreement with you about finding our way to each other within and think your ideas are anything but strange…:) I find myself spending more and more time creating and less and less time grasping at the fleeting nature of social media, though I am a big fan of its possibilities it will work itself out once the shiny part of it wears off…

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