William D. Waltz

from Gotta Move

Every Minnesota evening, during the six months it wasn’t winter, the bap, bap, bap, kadunk of a basketball rattled our windows. However annoying the repetition was, I couldn’t begrudge our sullen teenage neighbor his post-dinner reprieve. Then one day the orange ball lay abandoned in the grass. The boy’s parents had given him a computer, and from then on he played his basketball online. If the Industrial Age produced the alienated individual, the Information Age may well give us a race alienated from their very own bodies. As a person who spends a fair amount of time in front of a computer, I’ve experienced the disorienting effect of sitting for hours before the world of words and two-dimensional images and whose effect is accentuated and then finally alleviated by a walk through the neighborhood. Bodies were meant to be in motion, muscles were meant to flex. We can’t afford to be alienated from corporeal selves. What a drag that would be, like one endless sub-zero winter where it’s so cold even the molecules don’t want to dance.