My iPod broke recently. Take a deep breath Jason. You’ll be okay. You don’t HAVE to walk around in a bubble.

But it’s sure nice sometimes.

I have often wondered how the iPod has shaped our lives, particularly when I am on the subway staring at a sea of zombies engaged in their own personal concertos. Is the device making us more isolated and less inclined to connect with the people around us?

My iPod has carried me through thick and thin. Joy, heartbreak, melancholy. It’s been there to offer me a customized version of the mood I want to surround my life with at that moment.

It has also prevented me at times from hearing a street musician or a person in need of help. Not to mention the inevitable damage it will inflict on my eardrums. Not a brilliant idea for a dude who makes a living by listening.

Lately I have been walking and running around au naturel. On occasion it has been quiet enough to hear nothing but my own breathing. It reminds me of being a child, when watching an ant crawl across a blade of grass could occupy my attention for an hour.

I will replace my iPod soon. I love music too much. But this experience has left me a little more in touch with my own sense of being alive.

Maybe from now on I will live like a tennis court. The bubble only goes up in the winter.

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