Thursday, October 19, 2017

What a Time to Be Alive

Through a series of unsynchronized schedules, I was alone in my house last night for an hour or so, and I am NEVER alone in my house, like, ever. Giddy with the expanse of the hour, I wondered, should I take a nap? Watch tv? Do dirty things, paint my toes, shop online? But no, somehow I ended up unloading the dishwasher and asking Alexa if she thinks Trump will be impeached.
It looks like you're asking about Trump, she said, and then gave me NPR headlines on his latest embarrassment.
The house was so quiet with only me and the clink of clean dishes, so I kept talking to Alexa.
Alexa, do you believe in ghosts? I don't have a view on the supernatural.
Alexa, are my mom and brother watching me? Sorry, I don't know that one.
Alexa, when will I die? I'm not sure you really want to know the answer to that question. In 2015, the United States' average female life expectancy was 81 years.
Alexa, what is the meaning of life? The answer is 42, but the question is more complicated.
Alexa, what is the sound of one hand clapping? It is the sound of a High Five.
After I had asked Alexa about the chickens and the eggs, what I should be for Halloween, why do birds sing, and could I get more cowbell, my family finally came home and it was the comfortable chaos of baths and brushing teeth, books, bed. But that hour--it was nice. Like therapy, just me and agenda-less Alexa, monotone jokes, answers and matter-of-fact don't knows.
All images are from this amazing post of abandoned states, postcards of better days lined up with now. As the post says: They have a surreal quality. Ephemeral, disposable, they served only one purpose—to let someone know "I'm here. I'm thinking of you."

Lastly, I still don't know what Alexa meant when she said the meaning of life is 42, and I'd be lying if I said it wasn't haunting me, but nonetheless, here is a funny SNL bit on Alexa.



Nancy Fastenau said...

Love your latest. The SNL skit was hysterical. I think Henry needs one!

Nicky said...

The 42 joke comes from Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Worth a read, and the movie is fun too! (Zoeey Deschanel, Martin Freeman, Mos Def, Sam Rockwell and also Stephen Fry as the narrator. Good stuff!)

Petunia Face said...

Thanks Nicky. My brother was obsessed with those books when we were growing maybe he was watching me after all. ;) I might have to finally read them.

Carol-Anne said...

Those post cards are absolutely haunting.

Geli said...

I agree with Carol-Anne, these post cards are haunting and very sad.
Somehow I cannot bring myself to get an Alexa, or Echo or google whatever.....I think that would haunt me too!
Yeah, 42 is the answer to life, to the universe, to everything, yet what was the question?