The blue bursts brilliant and bombastic into a bedroom, bubbling with the ebullience of the outside world, like hugging sunbeams when outside was the cloudiest of bleak days. He was enraptured, the boy at the screen. The electronic hum pulsed over his shoulders and disconnect fell in a shadow behind him. Everyone was at his fingertips. Loneliness was a thing of the past. His fingers clambered about the keyboard, racing his messages to the world of friends that was compartmentalized on this little glowing square. The F, the majestic and regal blue F at the farthest right corner, could have easily stood for just about anything, like ‘friendship’ or ‘flight of fancy’ or even ‘fantasy’. It was his fantasy come true, to connect with so many people without the existential ogre of emotional recognition or nonverbal cues, of interpreting the imperfect languages of mute linguistics. He couldn’t bear raising eyebrows to his own perplexed ones, watching words slither from mouths where the origin could never be seen in the darkness of the gullet, where laid the mind of voice, that threatened to swallow him whole if he dare answer the two face riddles wrong.
All of that was gone. If he was resented, he could block resentment. If he was defied, he could delete mutiny. If he was made to clutch his stomach in any fashion of shame, churning acid reflux chyme at the scar of a weak stomach, he could tighten his jaw and open the scar onto his enemies. They would drown in his wounds. He was detached from everyone and yet connected to their heartbeats. He felt their pulse as though they were his own. He could belong to something, to the mass consciousness of the world. He was their friend. They liked his updates. They liked him.
Scene change. The boy, maybe a man but certainly head tilted like a boy, stands amidst the red solo cup homogeny of a party, solo blue-minded. He makes the rounds, nursing a Budweiser filled to the brim with flat flavor and making fake conversation, trilling topics in flat notes so as to spare the sensitive ear of his listeners. They all sing flat lines in a rhapsody to their disharmony. Yet, they belong, do they not? The boy never sips, never tips, always services with lip, and never ever dips into the raucous discontent inside of him. He lauds a thousand theories but would never publish a one to the transcript of his ideology; they are drunken half thoughts that are plucked and picked from the half-understood half pages of half-assed courses dedicated to full thinkers. He thinks he knows this, but he lauds a Buzzfeed philosophy dissertation where half the footnotes are discrediting Buzzfeed.
He thinks he’s missing out still. He is frantically trying to leave to his next party, but can never surmise the audacity to bid adieu to the memories that could be made in this banal cove. But if he doesn’t leave and head to that one Liz’s party- not the one with the lips, the one with the books and yet not the one with the Nietzsche books who has the nice butt, the one with the Sanskrit books and has the septum piercing that looks particularly painful, more so than others- he will miss out on those memories. Perhaps he gets lucky and lands his passion onto her bed. Maybe he lands his passion with her perhaps-boyfriend.
What does he want?
He actually opted for none of those options. He left early in a collision chamber of decision anxiety and is collecting false experiences on his computer screen. The blue hum sinks onto his clothes and presses against his eye until they are imploding and cracking from the pressure. Tears escape the fissures of his vulnerable mind, releasing sediments of sentiment ores, of the missing out that he is experiencing.
In the blink of an eye, a thousand experiences roll down the consciousness of the screen’s wall, forever here and forever gone, like photographs in the museum of his fears. He reaches out to grab them, latching for the bygone opportunities to connect to his fellow man, the opportunity to find the immaculate other of his split personhood, the opportunity to be.
The blue, it bombs belligerently onto the belabored brain, breaking and burning with the byzantine of belonging. Boy, you are a far ways from the world in your bedroom. You are a far ways from your bedroom on the square screen that captures you in its disgusting maw of artificial stories; they are picked and plucked moments of half-anxious lives carried by half-developed people, telling half-truth stories via the lexicon of half-muddled philosophies.
The blue F, daunting and hypnotizing like the world of a puppeteer, is at the cross section of his eyes, and it could stand for anything, like ‘fear’ or ‘facetiousness’ or even ‘fantasy’. Only 5% of the people who hold the title ‘friend’ are actually considered his friend. The five percent of friends he has, they wield weapons at his side, for they are forever in love with the humanity that is trapped inside the world that lures him with the promise of belonging. They tremor and erupt at his defense and they clutch at the back of his throat when he departs and plunges himself into the deep end of social schizophrenia.
He doesn’t need to belong. There is nothing to belong to but the shifting consciousness of false smiles appeasing the transience of everyone. He doesn’t need to care. The burning ‘x’ at the top of screen, sputtering prophecies of holy peace, beckons to him. He can live within the world. He can depart the ubiquitous eyes that roll in confusion at everything, but move so quickly that they never seem to leave him. He can run, because it won’t see him. He fails to realize, we all think we believe but never actual do believe, that this fear, that omnipresence is the greatest loneliness of all and that missing out is the unbearable pain of the modern age, is a fallacy.
He closes his computer. He leaves the party. He says goodbye to the people. He walks out the door. He enters the streets of the downtown area. He’s in a city, he realizes. Or he’s next to the library. Or he’s at the theater. He’s at a gallery. He’s at the gazebo in the middle of the park. He’s somewhere where he can hear his heart call out to him, longing and loving. He doesn’t escape from himself, he heeds to it, and in it, this sanctuary that runs sanguine with the drapes or the curtain or the painted town that is his absolute being, he transcends into what he was missing out on all along.