Sherman Ave contributor Gary Brownstein was recently made aware of the concept of Texting While Walking. After a few practice sessions in the safety of his own apartment, Brownstein hit the streets of Chicago to try out the phenomenon for himself. Below, he described the experience.
After making sure that the brightness on my phone was turned up and that I had a clear destination in mind (CVS, to get candiez), I stepped out the front door. Resisting every temptation to look both ways beforehand, I crossed the street, my eyes glued on the screen in front of me. A few cars honked, most likely out of respect.
I decided to text my friend Dave, who is a cool bro and who likes to text more than he likes to talk in person or answer his phone or whatever. I typed out an initial text, “What up dawg,” and hit “send.”
Dave replied seconds later. “Nm chillin watchin Brkng Bad. This shit with the lily of the valleys is getting crazy.”
A pedestrian bumped into me. Ignoring his protestations, I continued forward, shifting my grip on my phone only slightly in order to rub my sore shoulder. With one hand, I typed, “Wrd up.” Send.
Knowing that Dave would not continue the stream of conversation unless I continued prodding, I shifted gears.
“Seen any good movies lately?”
Dave is a dude who thinks he’s a bona fide movie critic, because he works at the shitty AMC three blocks from his apartment and gets to watch all the movies ahead of time with the rest of the pimply staff.
“Naw not really. Fucking over The Hobbit and its not even out. Also Denzel’s new movie was weak. Why?”
“Idk jw.” I would have taken the time to write out my reply more fully, but as I crossed State Street, a gentleman accosted me. Something about Jesus saving and repentance being necessary. Removing my right hand from the phone (but maintaining the left!) I gave him the bird. I think I heard him mutter something like, “Luck you,” or, “Best of luck to you.”
At this point in the conversation, the weather had started to take its toll. When you’re in the Text Zone, you do not have the luxury keeping your distance from the Cold Kung Fu Grip of Father Winter. Let me tell you, friends, that motherfucker was giving it to me good. My fingers, which normally would have been jammed inside my pockets, had lost all feeling. My nose was running, and I hadn’t had time to remove my Kleenex from my pocket and maintain it. “No one said it would be easy,” I thought to myself, “but damn.” But damn, indeed.
Upon reaching CVS, I typed out one last text to Dave. This one took me longer than normal, as my fingers kept shaking. “Aight dawg later im at cvs getting candy holler back.”
“Coo,” was the lone response.
Walking through the automatic doors, I sheathed my phone and rubbed my hands together, glancing up at the employee in the orange apron cheerfully greeting me.
“Hello, sir, welcome to Home Depot.”