PARISIAN MEMORY

A blind man enters the subway.
He sits down on one of the folding chairs in the ‘standing’ part of the carriage which is full of people.
I wonder how the blind man will know when to get off the train.
As the metro stops at Havre-Caumartin, I notice the man giving what looked like the thumbs-up sign, the symbol of approval.
His fist remains clenched as the metro continues and stops again.
This time, the man’s index finger protrudes from his clenched fist.
The metro continues and stops again.
As the train draws into the next station, the man releases his middle finger from his clenched fist.
When the metro continues and stops for the fourth time, the man shows his ring finger.
And when the metro continues and stops yet again, he points his pinky into the air.
He now has an open hand.
I close my eyes and try also to count. I realise that my distracted mind is so easily pulled away from something as simple as counting metro stops.

MODERN SOLITUDE

Today on line 2 in the New York underground
8 seats
6 people
2 empty spaces
Everyone is looking at their phone
One man has folded his hands and looks peacefully ahead of him

FAMILY DINNER

I sit in a Thai restaurant. The air is as spicey as the food and loud music drowns conversation.
A family enters the restaurant. Father and mother take a seat opposite each other. The son sits next to his father and the daughter next to her mother. Son and daughter face each other. They are young adolescents.
Father seems fit: straight teeth, a body toned by the gym, blouse tucked into his high-waisted pants. He constantly looks at his phone. A frown occasionally appears on his forehead as if something questionable passes through his mind.
Mother has slightly bent shoulders and she looks at her phone very often as well. Daughter has a phone tucked partly underneath her plate. Every once and a while, the screen lights up.
Son, apparently without a phone, looks skittishly at his parents. He looks around the restaurant and a crooked smile appears on his face as he picks up his plate and licks it like a hungry beast.
His parents are lost inside their phones.

A THOUGHT:

I am not fully aware of my own phone behaviour. Although my body does remind me when my hands and fingers hurt.
I am quite sure I use it too often. Somehow, it is always lying around the house. I see my little daughter grabbing my phone, or putting an object to her ear, as if she was on the phone.
Sweetly, she kisses the screen if she sees her father or grandparents on it.
I wonder if this is good for her.