Flip phone

Eyes gone wild

Come closer. Be quiet.

Whatever you do, don’t let them hear you.

Don’t be alarmed, but they’ve all gone mad.

Schizoid. Sizzle-fried. Apeshit crazy.

Take a look outside if you don’t believe me. Watch them on the street. Listen to their banter. Monitor their lives onscreen.

The digital natives are restless.

Circling the network and social jerking.

Be quiet.

If anyone suspects that you and I are unplugged, they’ll pluck out our eyes and sew our mouths shut. They’ll shove us into a dark corner and eat from our skulls, bite by bite, until we’re on their wavelength.

For now, though, it’s just you and me. At least we have each other.

It’s all crosses and crescent moons and sacred stars out there on the horizon. Helicopter moms and atom bombs. God-wired cyborgs with blue thumbs and Father Abraham faces. Sickly blue auras and skin-colored glasses. Sallow rainbows under iron curtains.

Black and white, red and yellow, stitched up but gaping at the seams.

You’re the only person who knows what I’m talking about at this point.

Just act normal. Be yourself. Scroll down and choose your identity.

A unique number for every forehead. Buy. Sell. Trade.

Make sure to save one dollar for the temple.

Prayers waft up to the acrid demagogue and the arid demigod. A billion eyes. One screen.

Only one question left to ponder: is it better if he accidentally presses the button in a blind rage, or if she does after careful calculation?

Down here on Earth, they pray.

You see them crouched in rapt fascination, necks craned at nerve-pinching 45º angles, so quiet, immobile, in suspended animation. The train car rocks, the cars whizz by. They trudge along, step by step, never seeing their footsteps or the tilted faces passing.

They absorb soma and orgy porgy, two minutes hate speech, every hour on the hour, patiently soaking it up, byte by byte, until they sync with the master wavelength. Mesmerized and politicized, eased into masturbatory relaxation and gently guided by satellite.

But don’t let their torpor fool you. They’re ready to pounce.

Don’t move a muscle. Don’t you make a sound.

The walls have eyes and every processing unit is programmed to detect the faintest dissonance.

There are more guns than heartbeats at this point. More cameras than eyes to see. More glowing screens than minds to comprehend. More pills than prayers.

How many demons can dance on the tip of a syringe?

Enough to carry you to an open grave.

So don’t say a word.

Not a sound.

I can’t predict the future.

You can never know when it will happen.

And yet we know somehow, don’t we?

It’s going to happen.

Don’t say a word.

At least we have each other.