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ARTIST TURNED AVID GAMBLER
I remember all those times that I found myself hiding in my own nest, “cocooning” my way from the corner newsstand to the coffee shop next-door. That´s about as far as I got. As an artist, writer, and individualist, trying every which way to mark my own world and to beat society´s norms, somehow I got easily sucked in. As a non-conformist conforming to a technological device, philosophy, way of life, if you will, and as I visualize this barricade of the masses hopping on the train at eight in the morning with laptops in their hands, gulping down cups of coffee destined for Wall Street or the new hi-tech district, I cringe. Whatever happened to those nice leather briefcases your father used to go to work with? The subway´s relaxing transportation service has turned into a cattle call of hypnotic computerized chips hopping on and off of trains in distress. Society has become filled with remote control operating devices with no time to at least let the woman in first. What have we come to?
As a kid in Junior High, I remember the first time a computer class became part of the school curriculum. I tried every which way to get out of it. Gym class seemed better. I just couldn´t relate to it. There was nothing connecting me to this damn square box sitting in front of my face. Back then I didn´t give two royal asses about what the future would hold, especially if it had anything to do with computers. Unfortunately, I never paid attention to Mrs. Ruder while she was explaining how to insert your floppy and how to take it out. By the time I graduated high school, my younger siblings were already carrying their laptops to grade school. The new generation had sneaked into this new technological era as I sat on the sidelines and mumbled, “It´s not going to get me.”
By the time College came around, homework assignments were piling up and I still advocated for the pen and pencil device and managed to survive. My birthday arrived and my grandmother decided to introduce the typewriter to me. I figured she knew I wasn´t going to become as educated and skilled, and with a degree from Harvard that she was hoping for, but she tried. My paranoia set in, and I could only think about what her motive was implying. I won t mention the little story that went with it, and that during the depression secretarial school was society´s tool for surviving into the future. As rebellious as I was I felt disjointed when it came to typing, and couldn´t get my fingers to move that fast or to stay on the keyboard. Sometimes I think I got it from my mother, who wouldn´t even attempt to sit down and type (hence the popularity of pen and paper I´ve been crowned to). She would always say that patience was not part of her personality and that her fingers were “discombobulated”. The gene was apparently passed on!
I find myself hibernating in my mini-studio apartment, my social-life becoming unnoteworthy.
It seems that people aren´t out anymore hanging around street corners trying to pick-up some cute chick. Where has everyone disappeared to? As anti-social as I was, I was on a quest to find out where everyone was hiding.
And then it happened, my parents got a computer and my younger sister started to use computer language in every conversation we had. And slowly the whole e-mail phenomenon entered into our daily life talk. An overheard conversation at Starbucks always seemed to end with,” E-mail me, or I got your E-mail “ and so on and so on. The whole idea of keeping in-touch with people I didn´t really want to see made me think about this ingenious idea that I was always trying to get around somehow. Many contacts I made in the past and the whole” I´ll keep in touch” talk was just talk.
In a way, this new concept was to my liking. Where as others feared the lack of communication and human contact that may perhaps affect society´s relationships with people, finally my time came to become an online socialite as others around were becoming anti-social. Go figure!
The new online Internet power tool to the future finally found its way into my world.
The idea was haunting me, that I, an artist, a non-conformist fell for it.
Technology created a new infinite world. In a way I was intrigued by the idea of being connected to the world. Talking to people from different cultures became less expensive then hopping on a plane for a few days when you just had enough and longed to hear and connect with other cultures. My idea of skipping town became settling in front of the computer until my eyes were ready to see the day of light again.
Just when I thought men were injected with some kind of drug because they weren´t standing on the corner picking up a babe anymore, I realized that the whole new online phenomenon became an industry in itself. Men no longer needed to wait on corners and put the charm on. Today they could be wearing hospital clothes and going farther with a woman then they would have if they were still hanging around the corner. The injection became a painless booster shot of chips taking you for a virtual ride. Today your fix is a click! And, the addiction became substantially cheaper.
The new online world has made way to a robust diversity of industries online. The Entertainment and Gaming Online Industry has become one of the most popular sites today. I find myself always reaching some casino or gaming site. After a while my curiosity kicks in, and the pop-up banners succeed to wheel me in big time. My past tag-along trips to Atlantic City with friends I didn´t really like, ended. The girl always staring at the psycedelic carpets and pretending to look busy at the slot machine has become an avid online gambler. What a headline,” Artist turned avid gambler paves way for other artists”. Who would have thought I would be playing blackjack or craps instead of watching Letterman. Well, to be fair to Letterman, he was always in the background as I was rolling the dice. So Dave, if you´re reading this, you may have been my good luck charm. But, I think I deserve some credit, whether it was just because I crossed my fingers hard or prayed to god. All in all, I have created my own world amid this new virtual thriving industry. The icing on the cake is the virtual coins I managed to win. Take it from me, life´s a gamble and anything is possible.
Sometimes there may be something out there waiting for you even if it means dealing with a square box in front of you, or, as we know it, a computer.