Rising at 0500 on a comfortable Sunday morning at New York’s Midtown Hilton to sh*t, shower and shave (in Marine vernacular), I dropped thirty-one stories to grab a cup of expensive joe, as cheap coffee was not provided in the fanciful digs upstairs. Luggage in tow, I dashed by taxi, bus, then shuttle, to return to my pick-up truck at Newark Airport’s long-term parking to blaze westward along the Pennsylvania Turnpike to return home after last week’s Writers’ Digest Conference. The experience and drive were rife with potential inspiration.
What kind of bozo would drive nineteen-hours to return home in one day? Thank God for Sirius radio, the audio book The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, Red Bull, plentiful rest stops, and long periods of time alone with my imagination.
What were the conversations inside the thousand vehicles stalled in the five-mile backup, fortunately for me, on the opposite side of the turnpike as they waited to pass a road construction crew with one lane blocked for a mere fifty yards of bridge work?
Where are you, Elon Musk? How about some brainpower and graduate-level brainstorming on something normal people need, like effortless and lighter traffic for their Sunday drive? The Hyperloop seems cool, but come down to earth and put some billions towards fixing current issues like getting the last dollop of catsup out of the bottle or robotic toenail clippers. Hey, novel concept just in–come up with a way for faster infrastructure building and repair so motorists can actually use the highways as intended–for escape–without the millstone of endless construction traffic jams.
What’s the story behind the recliner that obviously tumbled then up righted in full-recline mode precisely perched under mile marker 221 near Carlisle? Did the Clampetts lose granny out of the back of their flatbed or was she deposited there intentionally, and if so, where’d she go?
What about the phone call I received while in NYC about a rental property of mine, whereby my renter came home to find a couple of wackos high on crack, rearranging the furniture in her house with her finest bedspread laid out under a tree in the backyard? She’d come home from her late-night shift as a nurse at the nearby women’s prison to find a girl and some big tattooed goon at the top of her steps. Alarmed, but maintaining her nerve, she backed outside, called the police, and waited for them to arrive. The authorities arrested the girl but the guy got away, leaving behind his cell phone. His near-term residency in the county jail is a matter of time.
Or, the renter I’d given an ultimatum to about paying his past due rent or he and his family would have to leave? He was arrested for the possession of meth up in Iowa, a state away, with the family minivan wrecked along the side of the highway. He’d told me weeks prior he was desperate but not enough so to keep one of the six jobs he’d had and lost the past year.
Daily we’re confronted with conflicts, tangles, and stories of amazing bewilderment which will enlighten our sense of creativity, if we choose to pay attention. Sometimes we don’t have to be very provoking at all, we could let the true tales run their course and capture the incidents for others.
Everyone is a walking storyboard of success, failure, deep despair to outrageous giddiness, or somewhere in the middle where most of us live. The only thing we have to do is pay attention and scribble things down, unless you’re like me, and want to foretell the future.
That’s the path I’m embarked on. Take the exploding, exciting, highly-charged world of technology of today and extrapolate where it is going.
I get to make sh*t up, but it also might come true.
What will be like in ten, a hundred, or a thousand years?
When will they fix the potholes in the highways once and for all, instead of annually making highway crews targets of hate and frustration?
When will I get my proton-reactor hovercraft, Tesla? Forget the usual four-wheeled battery-operated version of the internal combustion engine. You’re better than that.
When will I get my electric assistant, a robot servant, named Alfred?
Will you implant in him a typically British emotionless sense of humor, and as such, if you do, it will be no mystery why…
our robot grandchildren won’t cry when we die?
Also published on Medium.