Romance in Flourescent

There’s one nice thing about having a flu — immediately, you begin to see the world around you as if from a hidden camera, observing as though you don’t exist. It’s not the lack of care, it’s just a common understanding that I need lots of rest to get better.

Sitting as I were at Barnes & Noble in Union Square, looking at mass-market murals of Orwell, Nabokov, Joyce, Shelley, Woolf and others having coffee on the walls, I couldn’t help but notice one thing — the lighting in their time was different. For some it was candelight, and later, the tinny gold-rose color of the early bulbs, then yellow… And now, permanent noon-light, infinite c-major, that wonderful energy-efficient glow hovers above at all hours, “productive white”.

I’d be curious to read magazines from the early era of electricity, articles by those, who wanted to “take back the night”, the mystery, the personal time of things and people unobserved, unaccounted.

I’m also infinitely curious as to what might happen in the future, and how this hue may change. In the little that I’ve experienced of globalization, one motive is persistent — the yearning desire to spend more time with family, to watch TV and eat, talk, to celebrate every occasion, the little sliver of personal time still left.

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