A beautiful spring morning in Central Illinois—overcast with a high chance of horrific sideways rain that may turn to jaggedly shaped golf ball hail bits.
Those weather forecasters really know how to pump me up for a Monday. After watching the 5am news before heading to work, I just really wanted to slap on a smile and get my day started. Right. Nevertheless, I trudged out of my apartment, looking glamorous in my jeans and T-shirt that may or may not have been pulled out of my laundry basket. I walked my happy ass uphill to my job that would allow me to drink endless bottles of wine at the end of the week to drown my big college sorrows, ya know the problems—not having enough time to write papers because you’re always working, always working because you’re always spending money, always spending money at bars, always at bars because you need your nightcap to sleep, need to sleep because you have been so stressed about school—I’m talking BIG issues here, people.
So walking uphill, the sun peeks out over the hill as if it were rising out of its slumber simply because it wanted to meet me. It wanted to meet ME. Not because it had a natural duty, not because it wanted to get as far away as possible from the Moon, or because it wanted to bestow happiness unto the greater humanity, it wanted to see me frumping along Maine Street. Still, despite the sun’s best effort, I kept my gaze downward and my jaw clenched, because, uhm. Hello. Haven’t you been listening? I have BIG COLLEGE ISSUESand cannot be bothered with the outside world. The outside world just doesn’t understand all the stress I am going through.
I finally reach work and run inside the building, managing to escape the happy glare beating down with increasing warmth from the sun. How dare it try and impose it’s happiness onto me. I rolled my eyes and strolled down the steps to the lab.
Time vanished beneath my nose without my consideration. I get up from my chair, begrudgingly walk up the stairs, and leave the building, grabbing a newspaper from the stand on my way out. “CHILDREN ADDICTED TO SCREENS” was splashed across the front page. No shit, everyone knows this, why is this front page news? I mutter to myself, stepping down the stairs without looking up from the article.
“It’s troubling to wonder how such children will learn important social skills and whether they’ll ever acquire the ability to be amus—“
Simultaneously, my hands were crushed, thus crumpling the newspaper, my head reverberated back four inches and my foot lost its holding.
I had walked straight into a light pole.
The light pole was placed in the middle of the sidewalk, so that was unpredictable and stupid of whoever planted it there. I scramble to gather the pages of the newspaper. I chuckle to myself and acknowledge some of the passerbys, “Don’t you love it when a light pole doesn’t give you the right of way?” It was obvious they don’t think I am as witty as I am apparently stupid.
Crouched down, post-witty remark, and peering up at the sky, it became apparent that the Central Illinois forecast of dreariness and oppressive skies were dreadfully wrong. The sun, that I wrongfully ignored earlier, had overcome the clouds and created a soft rainbow of blue hues across the sky. The few white clouds that were dashed across the blue painted sky added a sense of fluffy romance that elated a warm balloon in my chest cavity.
I pulled my gaze away from the sky and leered at the cement object, biting back the urge to stick my tongue out at it. The cement object, an object that was immovable by human hands, was placed directly in the path of humans. Who would put a light pole in the middle of a sidewalk? C’mon people, I thought we were smart creatures.
Slowly standing, it dawned on. Humans had to walk around this pole, causing change in their pattern in order to avoid being hurt. I, however, was too stuck in my ways to even notice the need to alter my path. Too often, I am not the only one who is too absorbed in my own life to notice my surroundings. As a college student, I’m constantly hearing my peers complain about the work load their professors are assigning. I see girls obsessed with their weight, their clothes, their makeup, the impressions they make and the flirting techniques they plan on using at the bar and not realizing some countries are on the brink of nuclear war. Maybe this is why my school’s newspaper thought it necessary to explicate the obsession children have with screens and technology. If it weren’t for this pole, I most likely wouldn’t have noticed the beauty in the sky. I wouldn’t have noticed how hilariously witty I am in times of peril.
Maybe more people need to run into light poles and lose their dignity, while falling to the ground.