A good friend of mine, who doesn’t talk to me, or telephone me, or ask what I’m up to or if I fancy a beer anymore, e-mailed me last minute to say she’s on Twitter and that I should ‘follow’ her. She added that she’d be on Facebook if I ever needed to get hold of her in an emergency, and asked why I wasn’t her friend yet, even though I thought we’d been friends since we started school together, on the same day in 1970…
Anyway, I thought why not? Get with the program Dave, you’ll be left behind soon you cyber dinosaur you!
So I tried this Twitter thing.
I signed up and waited.
So I sent a text (one of only 3 this year btw) to my oldest, best friend (pending) to ask how it all worked and when I could hope to start reaping the benefits and all.
She replied instantly (almost before I’d hit ‘send’ in fact).
‘Doh! U hv 2 fllw peeps mun butt! *%$£” – hehe, Lol.’
So I did. I started to search for and follow all the ‘Dave Lewis’s’ I could find.
There were a lot.
I found full-time playboys, semi-nude classical yard gnome repairmen, filmmakers, musicians, Iron Maiden-loving civil servants, glass blowers, erotic nude photographers, Great Fathers / Decent Husbands, Semi-Pro Golfers, Youth Wrestling/Baseball Coaches, Proudly Serving America, and Blessed With the Best Friends a Man Could Have, Independent thinkers, Transcendental Meditation Center Yogi’s, truckers, rugby players, Lovers of music, films, Sopranos, football, Branston pickle, 24, Family Guy, scampi, Tang Soo Do and its related art Tai Chi, Editors of the TARDIS Newsroom and a U.S. Senate staffer. I didn’t follow the god botherers, businessmen or marketers (seemed a bit pointless), but I did follow a lot of me’s.
Despondent now, I walked (using my legs) down the pub.
I entered, and discovered the place was heaving with single people (all engrossed in iPhone masturbation), couples sat across the table from each other (sending texts to people who weren’t there, but should be, ‘cos they were missing such a great time), gangs of girls (all tarted-up in their best texting outfits, implements charged and waving like dildos), in between sips and snarls at the gangs of boys, all tooled up in SuperDry & Hollister, text (ing?) wireless members of the faction for reinforcements.
Occasionally, a boy, or a girl, or a robot, would glance my way, and undress me of my t-shirt from Zanzibar, project violence into my smiling eyes. The eyes that filled with tears as the sun rose over that temple in the jungle, the eyes that gaped wide at those elephants in musth, the eyes I rubbed salt from when the dolphins and turtles outswam me, and the eyes that nearly went snow-blind on the equator, up that volcano.
I log on again, Sunday morning, with a sore head, think it’s alcohol-related, this hollow feeling lurking in my stomach.
Except offers to be someone else. Read about them. Connect with them. Find out about them. What they’re doing. How well they’re doing.
The me’s I’ll never know exist.
And I press the ‘Back’ button to the girl I stood next to. At the hot bar, with the hot pants.
I smiled and asked her if she came here often. She spat out her reply with the venom of a cobra (I saw once in Tanzania) and was gone, all too satisfied, she had logged off, momentarily, disconnected from her network, risked the downtime, to push between me and a DriftKing to order her shots.
‘Get a life granddad!’ she’d mispronounced, confusing textspeak with real speak.
I had to withdraw my puppy dog eyes. Go home, log on, search for that life.
That life I’ve been wasting up to now.