Me, Myself and Facebook
I am a writer. I receive royalties for my books. I live at home in my apartment in Portland. I order my groceries on line. I order my clothes on line, dvds, books. I pay my bills on line and use on line banking.
I am busy! My quiet time is when I sit by the window and watch the world go by. I know these people. I see them every day. I know when they are tired, when they are excited. I see them dressed up, I see them dressed down.
I used to be different. I used to be one of them. I used to go out. I used to love wandering supermarkets picking out produce. I used to love having friends round. Cooking for them. I loved to go to the movies. Hug that giant bucket of popcorn to my chest. Slurp on that enormous soda. I used to love the gym. The energy and sweat of the instructors. There are lots of things I used to be.
Now I sit by the window and facebook
Two weeks ago I put on a dress and heels and got as far as almost opening the front door, then pulled back and retreated to my window seat. I didn’t want to go out. There was no need to go out. I could facebook.
I took that dress off, put on sweats and slippers and sat at my window seat with my laptop.
Joe is on Facebook for hours everyday. He posts his photography so I can see his fascination with young men. Beautiful black and white photos. There is always a quote from some famous writer or other.
Liz and Jim got married after 20 years together. He’s British and nearly 65 – she just 40. Photos of the reception show they are happy. But why marry after all these years? Citizenship? Insurance?
I can smell the sink, need to do dishes.
Ruth’s children have graduated. Can’t believe it. They will always be babies to me.
Diana has joined a memorial page for a ten year old that died of cancer. My cousin Gerard just came back from Jordan. My other cousin seems happy living in Taiwan with his Taiwanese wife. I remember changing his diaper.
I should dust. I see it sprinkled smugly on every surface.
The children of my friends are all on Facebook. Strange to be privy to their private lives. Corina is huge. I never pegged her as getting fat. Jemma seems good despite her mother drinking herself to death and her obese Dad.
Yes, should definitely pick up the mess. Apartment could be a gem with a little effort.
Davie tags Jen a lot. I wonder what that is all about? Lots of pictures of them together at the reception. She is married.
I hear the elevator outside my front door. Tsion comes back from Uni same time every day.
Dot had a baby. She must be 43. I wonder if she has a man. She only posts photos, not much ‘conversation’. I click on Dominique’s ‘friends’. No one I know there. Lots of people I have never heard of. He moved on so completely. When Laurent asked me to ‘be his friend’ I never responded. Honing in on his best friend’s vacancy.
I am in control of my life now. Totally in control. No one can hurt me anymore. I am the person I always wanted to be in social circles now. I am part of everyone’s life and yet they can say nothing to hurt me and I don’t open my big mouth, feeling sorry only minutes later. “You should watch your mouth Jilly”, he would tell me.
The weeks go by. No one misses me. They send me messages on Facebook. They think I’m like I used to be. I have started to make up stories. I had to. I can’t just say, “I’m home again all day”.
Last month I said I had met someone. Changed my profile to read ‘in a relationship’. I didn’t say who with. When friends asked I said I didn’t want to jinx it.
I posted some photos of the Dominican Republic. Said I went with person in above mentioned relationship. Then I added, upon further consideration, ‘she doesn’t want her photos on line. Her parents don’t know yet.’ I thought that might be ambiguous enough.
I look out the window from time to time. Hours at a time sometimes. It rains a lot. People are afraid of the rain. They walk huddled pulling their coats around them. But the other day was different. There was a man, he was in a vest and trousers and he stood with his face to the rain, letting it land lightly on his cheeks, till it dripped from his hair. Passers by found him strange. I wanted to be right there with him. I opened my window and let the rain fall on my fingers.
Back to Facebook.
Gerard is the leader in the board game Texas hold em poker. Jemma lists her 5 favorite vegetables. I agree with her. I like potatoes, peas, corn, carrots, not so keen on the cauliflower.
I scroll down. Jemma is a fan of Michael Jackson. Jemma did the quiz ‘myself in 25 years’.
The radio plays softly in the back ground ‘All the Lonely People, where do they all come from”. Not so lonely now I think. Before lonely people were totally isolated. I don’t feel isolated. I get to live any life I want now, I get to be a part of other people’s lives all the time now.
Laura is going to the skate park. Janene is glad she isn’t dating a married man anymore, ‘never again’. When we were talking in real life, she told me he wanted to introduce more people to their bed. She went driving around Laguna Beach trying to find said person.
What would I be doing today if I actually had a real life I wonder. I would be on a train from Chicago to New York I think. Large landscapes with the promise of millions of people at the end. The rumble of the train through the night. I write on my Facebook page, ‘taking a train to New York, staying at the Hudson hotel, meeting Justin Timberlake for an interview’.
I wonder how much more outrageous I can be before someone catches me.
I think of Barb and her life on ‘Second life’. I have never seen her Avatar. She doesn’t post a picture of herself on her Facebook page or her My Space. She is afraid her avatar friends on Second life will see the real her and drop her sorry bottom.
I decide I will create a whole new Facebook page for my new love. I will call her Geraldine. To begin with she can go faceless. She will be a new friend on my page. My friends will be curious. Geraldine and I going to New York together on a train.
Then, I decide Geraldine should invite all my friends to be her friends, “any friend of Jilly’s is a friend of mine”. Make her sappy sweet.
This should catch Dominique’s attention. Screw him. Screw him for leaving me. Let him write a story about my life. Ex girlfriend is now a lesbian. Lesbian partner must be rich, all these trips to far away places. She was always so terrified to fly.
Emily has finally met a man. She is still in that rush of adrenalin. Craziness. Fantastic. I remember that. I almost felt I couldn’t sustain it. I couldn’t eat. The hours wouldn’t pass fast enough, till the next time we could be together. Emily has that now. “Miss my sexy Dave” she writes. I am happy for her. Must be hard to find someone when you are 6’3”.
My pizza arrives. Ginos this time. I rarely order from the same pizza place. Alternate. Put them off the scent of a desolate woman. Not that they care I’m sure. Hope I have enough for a tip. The cash in the safe is running low.
How long has it been now? Seven months. I haven’t been out in seven months. Parents don’t know. Dad is dead. Mum is in Georgia. TV is always on in the background. Ambient noise.
Hate Dominique. Good to hate. Good, good, good, akin to cutting yourself I’d imagine. A real feeling. Better than years of blah. Before Dominique I was blah. Doing my thing, doing well. Drinkies with friends. Swimming at the Y. Dance. Blah.
This pizza is greasy. I wipe my slimy hands on my bare thighs. Press my palms up against the window. Press my face into the glass and breathe hot breath on to the glass.
My throat tightens. It is dusk outside. Someone looks up at the window. They are wearing a black pea coat, down to their knees.
“Jilly, Jilly, are you ok? Jilly let me in”.
I recognize Dominique when I have blinked away my tears. Salty tears mixed with pizza grease. Greasy thighs. I realize I am ashamed. Ashamed, utterly. Excitement, fear, hate all mixed up with adrenalin. I want to vomit.
“Go away, go away’, I open the window and yell back.
“Jilly we need to talk, you’re not right in the head. You’re not. Baby, let me in.”
“Haven’t you done enough damage? Don’t you see I have made a life for myself. Never been happier. Go away.”
I am frantic. I wish he would just go away. I tug at my hair and turn wildly.
I can hear him shouting my name.
Facebook, Miles just became a pilot. Picture of certificate. Laura is back from the skatepark. Questions about Geraldine. Messages to Jilly from Geraldine. Gerard is now playing scrabble. Lu took the ‘what animal are you?’ quiz. Maria’s photos of Mexico just posted, she’s been tagged.
“Jilly, let me in”.
I pick up the laptop. Yank it from the wall and throw it out the window. I am totally crazed. I remember this feeling. Manic. I want to cry. I want him to go away.
The lap top flies through the air as though in slow motion, then thumps Dominique on the side of the head just as he throws his hands up to protect himself. I see him fall. He falls backwards and bumps his head on the pebbles, and at last, at last, the blah is back. I collapse on the floor, curled in the fetal position with my head to the floor. I like the blackness, I like the rocking. Rocking blackness. I am done.
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