In case you were wondering, I’m alive, even though my presence on so-called social media isn’t.
I’m alive in the time of the ‘rona.
Despite its horrors, I call it that because it reminds me of the song ‘My Sharona’ (1979), the debut single from The Knack.
It makes the covid not so frightening in a way, but not completely.
I’ve got to find something to smile about in the midst, so please don’t judge.
I’ve heard a lot of up-close horror about the ‘rona. People I care about have had people they care about die.
To say I’m alive is my requiem for them.
It’s my requiem for social media, which over the past couple of years has become little more than a place for people to make a lot of noise on the one hand while offering the image of care on the other.
Yeah, I’d give up social media too, but it’s how I keep track of family.
There’s still such a thing as a phone number, as an address.
When’s the last time you picked up the receiver (or your mobile, if that’s all you own. I know — a home phone is so 1979. Which is why I have one. I’m in the book still. I know the White Pages are online now, but if you were to find a phone booth with the book strapped inside, dangling from the shelf too low and too small to lean on, I’d be in there) and tried to talk to someone on that social media list?
Or do you not have their number?
When was the last time you sent an honest-to-goodness-written-by-your-own-hand letter (I know — paper or cards and pens are so 1979. Which is why I have a collection of proper fountain pens. Sure, I cheat and use pre-filled cartridges, but I have a fillable one and know where to get quality ink. I have proper cards and textured paper and stamps as well)?
Or do you not have an address?
Without social media, I’ve re-discovered some of the wonder I’d forgotten, or more properly, that I’d started to ignore: my friend and I walk once a week, in the early morning; before the time change, we left before dawn and as we made our way, we watched the pinks and blues and yellows appear over the mountains. After the time change, the sun is part-way up as we walk and we get to see it spread more yellows and oranges over the pinks and blues.
Without social media, I’ve re-discovered my words.
I wrote a screenplay: 123 pages, including the cover. I have the plan — mostly in my mind but several bits on the page — of its sequel.
Without social media, I’ve read several books that were gathering dust on my shelf.
Without social media, I’ve sought wise counsel to discover the dark corners of my psyche.
Without social media, I’ve learned what it means not to have a phone in my hand. Because I work, I do have the home phone nearby, but days turn into weeks when the mobile is nowhere close.
Without social media, I’ve rediscovered what it means to pull and stress my personage, to breathe heavier and add a shine of sweat to my brow and that trickles down my spine, through what some might call exercise. If you saw me doing it, you might think it was a conniption, but that’s another story for another time.
Without social media, I’ve rediscovered who is my ‘who’ — the people who love me to the point of wanting to know, on a regular basis, that I’m alive, rather than assuming; they talk to me, can you imagine, and send up signal flares by jangling the telephone lines. They might send a text message and then remember She may not see this, ever. Or at least not until next week so they ring the home phone. They leave (gasp!) spoken words on the recording. I call back and we hear each other’s breath. It may be for five minutes but is likely to be for five hours.
You’re alive and so am I. Magic, isn’t it.
Without social media, I’ve rediscovered social media. I slip in through its alley ways to visit spaces I’d neglected, private groups dedicated to betterment and to writing.
In case you were wondering, I’m alive and this is my ‘rona requiem for social media.
I’ll likely not be back in the way I was before, because doing so serves no purpose.
In case you were wondering, I’m pretty easy to find. There are those who know which rocks to look under and can send me word of your query.
But don’t be surprised if I don’t send back a word, because the words that you give someone else to carry have lost their weight and float away on the wind.
If you see this missive on social media and actually read it, you don’t have to reply. I probably won’t see it.
If you see this missive on social media and actually read it but post a reply in the comments on the blog where it nests, I’ll see it because I do visit this space every so often to hatch more plots and chicanery.
If you see this missive on social media and actually read it then send me an email, I’ll answer.
If you see this missive on social media and actually read it then pick up a phone and call, if I don’t answer I will call back.
If you see this missive on social media and actually read it then send me an honest-to-goodness-written-by-your-own-hand letter, I’ll with sun in my heart and a fountain pen in my hand by gosh write back.
If you see this missive on social media and actually read it then then send me a typed letter, I’ll write back with a rueful smile, but I’ll still have a fountain pen in my hand by gosh.
Why a requiem? Requiems signal the end but the end signals the beginning and who knows what that will bring.
As long as I’m alive, I can’t wait to find out.
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