My Facebook Movie
girl at a microphone
holding a notebook,
hair like a messy tumble of wires
in a basement box
costumes in October,
dancing in a silver dress
on an open dance floor,
the choreography of celebration
and the winter snow
a birthday cake decked with dragonflies
waiting behind a closed door,
together with the excitement
of the party guests
family at a wedding,
cheeks flushed and smiles genuine,
the connection of humans
to other humans
a pet rat nestled in a cradle
of gentle arms,
whiskers fanned out
like a bouquet
between the panels
between the frames
between the camera clicks
Many of the other pictures threw me. The people were randomly selected, firstly by myself in some unusual display of online bonhomie back in 2011 and then secondly by a Facebook algorithm that seemed intent upon rewriting my own history. These people smiled and made comments about my son's painting or the witty message I wrote on a car windscreen covered in snow, but they were minor players in my life, not even bit-part actors and yet, through the power of code, the binary dance of zeros and ones, they were given top billing in a film that wouldn't even receive a DVD release.
I sagged, both physically and emotionally. I was a sack of a man. My life from 2007 to now was nothing more than out of focus pictures of half-remembered nights out and 'thumbs up' from people I didn't even know. It was like watching a relative's holiday video, I tried to look interested, but my heart just wasn't in it, even though I was.
I paused over the 'Share' button. It was one thing to discover that I was less than zero but did I really want everyone else in on the secret?
I viewed other people's movies, only a few; even I, the dullest man from 2007-2014, had a limit, but what I saw gave me heart. I wasn't alone. These people were no better than me, they were no more exciting, or invigorating, their pictures just as mundane and out of focus as mine, some even worse, their posts no more profound or 'liked' than mine and all of them linked by the same shitty piece of piano.
I picked myself up, straight back, deep breath and pressed 'share.' Come on you dull bastards, let's be having you.
Hello, they said.
Hullo, I said.
Haven't you got a nickel for an ex-Nickelodeon child star down on his/his luck? they said.
No, I said.
Haven't you got the time to listen to an old fellow describe the loves and losses of his length of time before the end? they said.
I don't know. Who is he? I said. Is he related to me? Have I met or heard of him before?
He is a stranger.
As the weeping willow said to the koolabah tree, Friend me on Facebook?