Oh sure, as a person who for certain is not Miss Popularity, I can tell you I have never before had so many “likes” on Facebook than over the past week when we had our little adventure here in Watertown following the 2013 Boston Marathon Bombings. I made sure to let everyone from out of town know that yes, I did live in Watertown.
Why? I am quite the ham at heart. I love getting up on stage and getting the attention of an audience and have rarely had stage fright. As a writer, I love giving readings, that is, reading my own writings aloud to live audiences, and making folks laugh or cry or giving them chills.
More than anything, I want to make a footprint on the world. But generally, on Facebook, as I said, I am not Miss Popularity and I am overlooked and I consider Facebook more or less a popularity contest. The whole Facebook scene in the past has sickened me that way. I think Facebook is very dangerous and can be used in a harmful manner for this reason.
It’s like a huge version of my elementary school playground, when the kids used to pick teams. It was all stacked against me. I was the shortest kid in the class. I was doomed. The last to be picked for the team. The first to be called for Red Rover, because I was bound to blow it. To make things worse, I wore glasses, I was Jewish, and I was a girl. My mom always embarrassed me with her loud talk, she always forgot to pick me up from school, would send me to school wearing the most embarrassing clothes imaginable….
I suppose each of the kids in the same school would tell you the same story. We were all embarrassed kids. The other kid had it better. The grass was always greener. Every kid had their moment they wished they never had to go back to school ever again.
I’m not sure if other people grow up and are comfortable fading into the woodwork and never making a mark on the world, slipping away unnoticed. I can’t see that this is a way to live a satisfying life. I think it is human need to have a sense of purpose in life. Generally, this means we change something here in our environment. Sometimes it means having a relationship with another human, raising animals, or raising good children and then setting them loose in the world. Other times, it means doing work in writing or the arts and setting our works loose just the same as if they were children.
There were a lot of changes here in Watertown I guess over the past week or two. I hammed it up on Facebook, just for the “likes” and stuff like that. I just figured that my phone wasn’t going to ring anyway and I’ve been dumped by most of my real-life friends, so I might as well have a little fun for the heck of it.
So now it’s all over. What is friendship, anyway? You get to know it’s kind of meaningless after a while. Especially when you are lying down in Watertown with your dog, they have told you you cannot leave and no one can come in, and the incessant helicopters are flying overhead, over and over. Who is with you? Your dog and no one else. That is the reality.
It is what I have been saying all along. You are all alone in this world.
And so the helicopters flew over, again and again, and the Watertown sky darkened with the stink of them. I saw on a streamed-in news station that our tiny malls that sold cheap bargain products from China were suddenly riddled with FBI agents and the like. No one from Watertown ever went to these malls. They were for out-of-towners to do their Christmas shopping, with the exception of Best Buy or Home Depot. I guess a lot of local elderly people still go to that restaurant in the Watertown Mall called Old Country Buffet, but to me, the food that place serves smells like nursing home food.