Somewhere Below Humans

Father and daughter at the museum cafe.

Sweet they’re here together.

She: Reads a picture book. He: Holds head with one hand, scrolls on phone with the other.

Look, she reaches over her cup of milk and points to something in her book.

He murmurs, gaze stays down. His phone needs him.

Hard to see, isn’t it?

She retracts the book, waits. She knows the routine.

Judge the father. But who hasn’t been him at one time, or many?

His gaze shifts, phone-level to eye-level. He takes up the book. She points again for him. Yes! He is enthusiastic.

What’s he supposed to do? Not touch the stuff, live tech dry? Or can he use in moderation? Yes? Then a question: What place to put these magic, maddening devices in life’s hierarchy?

Daughter hands father the rest of her milk. He finishes it. His phone in his pocket, they get up. Together, they leave.

An answer: Somewhere below humans.

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