You've seen one of my kind on a flight before. Headphones on, book out, scowling; I'm a proud member of those groups of people who do everything in their power to avoid having conversations on planes. I'm not shy or misanthropic; I've just never understood why some people are so determined to make a friend before the wheels hit the tarmac. If we go down, the last thing I want to be thinking about is how some stranger's mother's sciatica is doing. It's all about time and place. Some spaces are sacred for me in that they necessitate absolute silence. One of the most integral of these places, aside from airplanes, is the nightly quiet time I enjoy.
My daily ritual consists of doing as much of whatever it is that needs doing, so that by 1 or 2 a.m., I'm able to enjoy a movie, the starlight, and a cold Diet Dr Pepper in absolute silence. Unfortunately, for me, Pokémon Go -- while a fun, interactive piece of nostalgia -- is ruining my life, or at least the last half of my day. My precious, unobstructed silence, a period of time used for internal reflection and relaxation, is being ravaged on a nightly basis by trampling hordes of complete strangers who, for some reason only God Himself knows, feel compelled to corner me and detail the (usually unimpressive) list of Pokémon they've caught, where they've caught them and how. They approach me with a Mayberry-esque sense of neighborliness. They smile and greet me and ask which team I've joined. They make me sick.
I have a great respect for what the game is doing, that endlessly discussed list of pros which -- only a week after the game's release, has become passé: getting people moving around outside, encouraging them to explore their own backyards, even enabling them to interact with one another face to face. And though these accomplishments are praiseworthy, Pokémon Go has changed my life from a carefully regimented and enjoyable routine into one never ending flight, on which I am trapped in a middle seat, being forced to make conversation with well-intentioned bumpkins who treat this game with a perverse seriousness, as though their family is relying on them to bring home a Pidgey for dinner.
I know how awful this must sound, and I could easily picture you wondering why anyone would even want to approach such a mean-spirited person. I do, too. But the fact of the matter is that while the press touts the game for encouraging untold masses to discover their own communities for themselves, the me's of the world, we firework types who are "on" for the first half of the day, and then need time to ourselves, are being subjected to the unsolicited midnight ramblings of potential Pokémasters.
While scores of others try to "catch them all," I'll be trying to catch those last fleeting moments of self-imposed isolation before another overly-excited adult tracks me down to extensively discuss the Charizard they caught six miles away.