We purchased the TV over the weekend. A nice HD set, with excellent clarity, and a great refresh rate. It was the culmination of weeks of research, watching countless reviewer videos, polling friends, and finally several trips to big box stores to narrow the field.
The walls were filled with screens. Pausing in front of each group Ms. Kluender and I craned our necks, bent our knees, and distanced ourselves seven feet from each well defined image. I even wore my most accurate pair of glasses.
In the end we knew as much as the sales staff when it came to LED, LCD, Plasma, hz, HDMI cables, side lighting, backlighting, ghosting, burn-in, and Wi-Fi. We now possessed enough information to update our resumes. At the checkout it came down to a trusted brand and a need to have something to watch the news other than our iMac.
Now I’m sitting on the bus, having made my connection on Market Street and 11th, heading down to 16th. The Comcast box sits heavy on my lap and images of future viewings play across my mind’s eye. Once I pick up my HD box two stops from here, my life will be a little more complete. I will still have to hook up the surround sound but this will get us by until the weekend. After all, speakers on new TVs tend to fare worse than their predecessors due to thinner frames. It was the salesman that questioned us a few days ago, “Go with the picture. You can always fix the sound but you can’t fix the picture.”
At the next stop, my pulse quickens a bit. I feel a bit giddy. No more blurry movements or mushy looking text. My future will be defined.
As the door opens to drop off a few passengers a man’s voice is heard loud and clear, “It’s to the right.”
I watch as he turns in profile, 70 years old at least, eyes staring blankly ahead not finding a focal point, and hands clutching his stick. Few in the crowd make way as he disembarks and turns slowly, a few inches from the corner of the bus shelter, postponing that bruise for another day. His actions appear slow, somewhat stilted. That’s when I notice he’s waiting, hand outstretched behind him.
Her face has at least as many years traced across her weathered black skin. Eyes faded and cloudy, she comes within a hair of scraping her cheek against the shelter when her hand finds her husband’s arm and he pulls her away. She unfolds her stick and they slowly make their way past my window.
As the bus pulls away, I gain a little clarity.