The man sat on the patio chair and watched Petunia play with her string of beads large and small. She’d grab them and run across the yard, look back at him to make sure he was watching, then take off again… a pale pink streak with them streaming behind her like an optimistic kite tail on a ground-bound pig.
He smiled at her but was lost in thought. With a sigh, he spent a minute or two exploring the thread that had teased him as he drank that morning’s coffee and scanned his email and online interests. “I got nothin’ against cats and dogs and recipes, I like, laugh at and love ‘em too. It’s a fun way to connect and feel we’re connected. And it works a bit. But try sharin’ somethin,’ anythin’ like writin’ created with thought, skill or maybe some artistry—not just by clicking and tapping—and then most don’t see it or do and don’t care. Busy lives, busy eyes. Makes me think of that old cowboy TV show song, only it’s … scrollin’ scrollin’ scrollin,’ through social-streams a swollen, swipe ‘em up, swipe ‘em down … don’t try to understand ‘em. Just keep a-rollin’ by ‘em, … scrollin’ scrollin’ scrollin’… scroll on.”
Pushing his Red Harvest/Dashiell Hammett ball cap up, he wiped his brow. Not even mid-May and the heat and humidity was already a bitch. He looked down at Petunia, who had skidded to a stop in front of him. He’d kept her—the runt of the litter—and now she was part of his life.
“Scrollcialmedia… filled with fodder. It’s not that they—folks, God bless the good ones—are wrong in what they do or not do… it’s just entertainment. I try to add something more to it for them. And there are those who stop and read, even take a moment from all the surrounding busyness to comment or share.” The man rubbed the side of his nose and squinted into the mid-morning sun slanting down over the tops of the trees. “They’re the ones we appreciate, right Petunia?” She cocked her head up to look at him. “It’s good to see and hear from them.” He leaned forward, rubbed Petunia’s head, then stood and left her to play… inside there was writing to do.