I have become a zombie. It’s true. Several months ago, I noticed that most of the people on campus at my university can’t seem to go anywhere without headphones on. It takes what, three minutes to walk between classes, and they can’t go that long without listening to music? And some of them would sit in the classroom/auditorium/lecture hall with their headphones on, until the professor would come in and actually start talking before they’d take them off. Then they’d act like it was a huge inconvenience to be without them. It was like all these people were withdrawing from the world, wanting to live in their own little bubble, with no contact with anyone outside of it. On one hand, it irritated me greatly. On the other, my Muse thought it had great potential to be used in a dystopian story, and that turned into The Fall.
Today I realized I’m guilty of this as well. I don’t know when it happened. I don’t know how. But I rarely go anywhere on campus now without my headphones on.
It’s not because I don’t want contact with the people around me–although sometimes that’s the last thing I want. Have you seen how annoying teenagers are now? (Suddenly, I feel very old.) Plus, there are inevitably people who decide to talk to me, even though I am clearly wearing my “Please Don’t Talk to Me” face (Seriously, people? Can you NOT see the look I’m giving you? Get a clue.). But even that’s not the real reason.
The real reason is because I find myself in desperate need of inspiring and uplifting music to get through the day. My priorities have shifted drastically over the last six months, and one of the things that has changed is the music I listen to most of the time. It keeps me on an even keel. And considering the stress in my life, I need an even keel (and, possibly, a life preserver). Hence the ever-present headphones. But I do take them off when I go into a classroom. Because that’s just rude.