Author : Alexander Polkki

The sales associate places the tablet in front of me. She delicately sets her nails on the screen and it comes to life, brimming with imagery, with iconography. We are living the revolution. She’s waiting for me to say something. My silence challenges her.

She reaches under the counter. Brings out a smaller tablet, stands it up. Touching the screen, the same icons brim to life. I want to say it’s like the travel size version of a chess set, but then I remember what chess was like, concentrating on small, plasticized pieces in the car. Thinking moves ahead while trees and old barns breeze by. Perhaps one day we’ll stop to take pictures of the places and things that hold meaning for us, but not ever really needing or expecting to.

She’s brought over a monitor. She rotates the tablet and leans it against the larger screen, at an angle. She spins the smaller one, standing it up in front. This new family is waiting. The silence deepens and I can tell she’s starting to wonder why I came in here.

She waves her magician’s hands over the three screens, and they blend, one into the other. She waves her hand again and icons open. Footage of trees and barns flit by across them all. She takes the tablet by two corners, cocks her head as if she’s saying something. She places the chessboard, back-lit, on the glowing counter, and invites me to play.


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