"... Sir! This is the last stop. Are you here, Sir?"
Yes, I missed my stop again. And no, I wasn't sleeping on the bus. In fact, my eyes were wide open. My ears, however, were muffled by the latest, most sophisticated wireless earphone technology: Noise cancellation.
I'd been wearing my earphones for 5 hours straight (thanks to the improved battery life). I lived inside my bubble for most of the day, surrounded by my favorite electronic beats and autotuned lullabies.
I didn't want to hear anyone or speak to anyone. I just wanted the next song on my playlist. Then, I remembered one more detail. Almost everyone on that bus was the same as me.
How do we expect to live in the moment, or to form any meaningful connection, if our mind's front doors are closed?
Don't get me wrong, though. I've got nothing against earphones. They're great tools for focusing on the task at hand or communicating on the go. But if we wear them all the time, even with our closest friends, then what message are we communicating?
It's a shame that most people don't have Beyonce's vocals. And that birds don't chirp in perfect electronic rhythm. But if we free ourselves from the boundaries of a playlist, we can hear better stories than songs will ever tell.
From now on, I'm keeping my earphones inside their pocket.
I'm learning to enjoy the noise, with no cancellation.