I can’t possibly keep up.

With all that’s going on, how does one even begin to try? There are plenty of sources to turn to. There is plenty going on that could even be construed as interesting enough to forgo an episode of “Friends” every now and again just to stay informed. A citizen of the world doesn’t even need money to access these sources. I smoked a cigarette in front of half a dozen newspaper machines and got overloaded with front page headlines. My fair city, herself, has two nationally acclaimed newspapers not to mention a website.

I still can’t keep up. And I think I know why.

It doesn’t interest me enough. It’s not that I don’t care about my community or the rest of the state or even the rest of the world. It’s that there are too many valid distractions. I see the news on one channel but I also see Brittany’s midriff on another. I hear the radio station break for an update on the current events and I immediately find a station that’s playing some music (preferably the Clash but I’d settle for anything that hasn’t been on MTV in the last five years). I’m blasted with shocking stories and horrific events 24 hours a day and I have been for the last 20 years, it’s all lost it’s edge. You can’t shock me anymore. I could turn on the TV and find out that a giant, plaid gorilla is climbing my office building and shooting hallucinogenic napalm from his prosthetic horns and he speaks with a thick, Haitian accent and I’d probably blink then change the channel to see if Kelly Osborn is going to get that tattoo that Ozzy forbid her to get.

I pulled out of my garage, today, the air was thick with a bluish haze from the Nation’s largest forest fire and I didn’t even flinch. The thought that my house might not be here when I got back didn’t cross my mind, what crossed my mind was that I’d probably wear a mask to filter out the death if I thought I might look cool and not like some burned out raver.

On the train, a girl hacked her way to an available seat and pulled the mask she’d kept just off her face so she wouldn’t smear her make-up and looked at herself in a compact mirror. I wondered if the mask was a fashion accessory because it sure wasn’t filtering smoke an inch from her cheeks.

Meanwhile, the Fertile Crescent is continuing their seven thousand year war. Every once in a while, when it affects us directly, we’ll take notice but not for very long. Even our red, white and blue bumper stickers are starting to fade and peel off. As long as the Unleaded stays reasonable and there are no more landmarks wiped off the map, we stay pretty content with our hot Starbucks Carmel Machiattas and thank God for those corrugated cardboard sheaths that protect our moisturized and exfoliated hands from getting burned by our after-breakfast-before-lunch boost.

Who can keep up?

I have to log onto my hotmail account every day and throw the entire inbox, full of debt consolidation, penis enlargement, and hot ‘n horny something-or-other, into the virtual trash just so that there’s room for the next batch. I don’t even use this account but I maintain it just in case. I respond to my friends in Canada, England and New Hampshire every day via Instant Messengers and e-mail but I haven’t even shook hands with my next door neighbor who shares a lawn with me.