KYSO Flash
Knock-Your-Socks-Off Art and Literature
Issue 10: Fall 2018
Micro-fiction: 229 words [R]

When I Gave Up My Battle Against Hi-Tech

by Dan Gilmore

Lately I’ve been feeling like the world’s soul is being consumed by advanced technology and that part of my work before I leave this planet is to free it from the web of digitalization. Sheila was my first target. At the diner where we met for lunch, there’s a sign: WE DON’T HAVE WI-FI. TALK TO EACH OTHER. Sheila didn’t see it because she was trying to fix her phone. Last week we attended a memorial for our friend Bud, and during the service Bud’s daughter checked her phone four times. Sheila didn’t notice because she was texting Roger, her boyfriend. After Bud’s memorial, we went to Starbucks. It looked like a church service, all heads bowed over phones. Sheila left her “notifications” on, in case Roger wanted to apologize. She said they were having relationship issues, that he likes his phone more than he likes her. I told her that maybe we have become a society where we are connected to everyone but touch no one, a society of delusional relationships grounded on virtual loneliness. Nailed it! I thought. But she didn’t hear me. She was texting Roger. I told her I’d read that it’s now possible, with a special sensory body suit, to have virtual sex which is better than the real thing. She said, “Really? What’s the website?”


—Published previously in a collection which the 81-year-old Gilmore has called his “swan song,” My Dharma Box (KYSO Flash, 2018); appears here with his permission


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