She sits at a nail salon. She is working on her novel, using pen and paper as a conduit for thoughts and ideas and emotions.
The woman next to her looks at her phone and has headphones on. She pauses only to sign the receipt for her pedicure.
As the woman stares at her screen, reality and the life behind pixels becomes blurred. She scrolls through her Facebook feed and looks at clothing. She hears only the steady beat of music in sync with the rhythm of her heart.
The woman who writes listens to what is happening around her: two people speaking in Chinese, the hum of the air conditioner blowing, and an advertisement playing on the television. She is lost in a world of sounds and sensations inspiring her swiftly scrawling sentences.
Words dance off the pages of her notebook and float around her like fireflies just let loose from a jar. Her notebook now sits on a tree branch with roots spreading around her. The tree leaves drop and melt into ink spots on her page forming new ideas and mysterious places.
Next to her, the woman and her phone are slowly being enclosed in an unseen box. The phone grows tendrils anchoring her and itself to the invisible prison. Lights dim until the only source of illumination is the small screen. More tendrils sprout from her headphones and attach themselves to the box. She is now completely inseparable from the cage she refuses to see.
One woman will always be listening and looking and imaging as she walks through her life–an analog thinker in a digital age. The other will never see the box she lives in–a prisoner of the digital era never to see the light of day.