“Who are you?”
I’m not sure where I am when I first say this, but it goes through my mind and then my mouth. I can’t help but utter these words out loud. I keep repeating them.
Physically, I am in my office, in front of my computer, where I am most of the time these days. It’s my bat cave; hidden away from the analog world, while being deeply exposed to the digital one. But I am seeing both worlds in pixels and posts now. Every word is important, even outside of Facebook. Exchanges with grocers and postmen. I am sharing a bit of my life with everyone whom I come into contact with.
I happen upon a small photo attached to a random message on a friend’s Facebook wall. I say the words above, out loud, to myself; “Who are you?” It’s like a mantra that I am hoping will unlock a secret.
At this point, I may well fucking be a professional Facebooker. I have seen tens and thousands of little photos like this. Friends of mutual friends, people I am not yet connected with, displayed in tiny boxes with small pictures and limited info. Despite a lot of captivating and beautiful little images, I am rarely, if ever, tempted to add someone as a friend whom I don’t know at all. But when I see LG my stomach gives way and my blood rushes in both directions. It is her not so simple little photo that sinks me. It is positioned next to a link that asks, or demands really, “add as a friend”. My fingers reflexively hit the button and a message pops up saying “are you sure?” I answer out loud, “of course, I’m sure.” Can’t you see her?
For the next day, through work and running and playing with my kids, she is there in my mind and I repeat the mantra, “Who are you?”
She isn’t responding, though. I Google her, of course, and find out she’s a singer and a filmmaker. Man, this is insane. I am directed to her website and to YouTube and watch the beyond-brilliant, home-made videos of her songs. I’m floored. There’s this song, Yayo, and this video and her, it’s almost too much. Almost. I listen to her impossibly beautiful voice, transfixed by her image, floating like Marilyn in a parallel dimension. She is the lovechild from a night of passion between Nina Simone, Patsy Cline and Elvis. But she’s trapped somewhere in David Lynch’s Black Lodge, which has to be where these videos are being broadcast.
I instantly write her off. No way is she going to add some stranger or potential stalker, even if we do share a few mutual friends.
But like a trick candle she just keeps reappearing in my mind, no matter how hard I try to blow her out. So when I return home from my writing group on Tuesday night, to find she has added me as a friend, a jolt shoots through me like 1000ccs of high grade adrenaline. I also see there is a message in my inbox. Can it possibly be her?
It is, and like a giddy, fucking schoolgirl I almost can’t open it.
“He’s the very best.” Who talks like that anymore? I read it and fall to pieces. She is straight out of a Kerouac novel and a Bette Davis flick. I instantly reply back.
What an ass, really, all that rambling and self-serving crap. I should have just played it cool, with one line. something like “i dig it the most.” Some kind of lexicon a hipster would have at his fingertips.
But that isn’t me. I am not a hipster. Isn’t my purpose here to be honest and sincere?
It’s an interesting narrative that the gods, or whoever, are writing for me; that I am writing for me. I haven’t allowed myself to feel a real spark for another woman in a long, damn time. not for the last year, not for my marriage. even if I never hear from her again, which I probably won’t. I feel electric; I am moved and need to do something. I don’t want to write any more messages. I write a poem to her and I post it on my wall, in hopes she will see it somehow and know it’s for her. Wtf.