Wednesday, March 11, 2015

"I Really Don't Know Clouds At All"

It doesn’t take much to remind me how out of it I am. My idea of a cloud was some deity’s pipe smoke or a levitated pillow. A platform was that place where you waited for the subway or the planks in a political party’s promises which never happen. Now clouds and platforms have been purloined by techies along with viruses which used to be those microbes beyond the reach of antibiotics. Now when one is unleashed it’s an instant pandemic beyond anyone’s reach.

Back in the day when I  played basketball I was often hacked but it didn’t send me into a fevered hissy fit like the hackers of today who can crash your hardware into mush, freeze your software and slip their fingers into your virtual wallet. These are dangerous times.

I know, I know, I should just go with the flow but the flow is an ice floe where I’ve been banished and deposited in some precinct of pre-history. It isn’t only new-fangled technology that has me in a dither, it is the food I put in my mouth and the language that comes out of it.

Yesterday we thought to try a new restaurant. At 3:30 the place was packed. The menu (another word lifted from eateries to answering machines) consists of two salads. One featuring charred escarole, pickled squash, kale sauerkraut, gherkins and bread crumbs. The other had romescu, collard slaw, crispy sage, harissa béchamel, and walnut mahammara. One could wash it all down with hazelnut milk. We didn't order. Instead we slithered out the door feeling nostalgic for junk food.

I drove a few blocks and spotted a Café 50s. I checked my rear-view mirror to see if we’d been followed by the millennial police. The restaurant was empty. A sure sign it was our kind of place. Peggy had a malt and cheeseburger. I feasted on a chef’s salad. Everything in the bowl looked familiar. No adjectives were required to describe the lettuce or tomato on the menu. Soon this sort of food will be deemed subversive, even felonious. 

Oldies but goodies played from the juke box. The walls were plastered with movie and rock stars from the 40sand 50s. We were in a time-warp. If you ordered pie ala mode it really was of- the-day but that day had passed. Everything about the place was yesterday…….and that’s where I want to be when people spoke in full sentences not OMG, IMHO and LOL.

I have to say I've got little patience for people like me, clinging to the past, romancing about those good old days. I’m not yet enfeebled even if I sound like a crusty old fool. It’s pathetic. It’s indefensible. But it’s true. In the cycle of all seasons I am in the Winter of my years having lost fluency with the new Spring. They’re speaking in universal glyphs and I’m still muttering from McGuffey’s reader.

Certainly there is much to admire about the miracle of the Internet even as I curse and howl to the clouds. Since first grade I’ve had a recurrent dream that I missed something in school when key instructions were announced; small things such as the meaning of life. Now this prophesy seems to be unfolding. Where was I when apps were explained, when texting became the preferred method of conversation, when cornflakes were replaced by spelt and kamut (ancient grains it says on the box)? I’m getting hungry for breakfast on my ice floe; pass the millets and gooseberries.