The Right to Be Forgotten: Three

Next day, writing should be my primary concern. I tell myself that my first book met moderate success, enough to keep my second book on the track to publication, and this is a good thing. The words will not come when called.

To celebrate forty new words, mostly consisting of a, an, the, of, but, and, or, I reenter the brutal kingdom known as WiFi. My social media accounts sit where I left them. My fingers strum the keyboard with insufficient pressure to churn out either words or nonsense. Something to tell the world — that is my quarry. Strum. Strum. Look out the window. Indulge angst over my lack of cleverness and a cat. Cleverness and a cat are like oil and gold offered to the Internet gods.

It takes only a wayward thumb to refresh my screen and find the offerings of other mere mortals. Mostly, cats. Also cleverness.

I scroll endlessly. Cat. Cleverness. Political view. Self Promotion. Troll. Rinse. Repeat.

At last! The snark arrives. A writer’s sustenance is based on a steady diet of caffeine, alcohol, self-deprecation, and snark, not necessarily in that order. Non-paper cards deliver snark and self-deprecation, so double points.

One post leads to another which leads to other sites and more profound snark until it’s well past a respectable time for lunch.

Close browser windows. Stare at blinking cursor constantly mocking my utter lack of authorial genius.

Open browser. Search: sad boy is sad. About 278,000,000 results in about 0.70 seconds.

It’s a mistake but I jump down the rabbit hole. Five hours, a thousand tears, and one cup of ramen later, I chuckle. I tell myself I’m just emotionally liable due to all my righteous indignation on behalf of sad boy. The chuckle means nothing. A momentary weakness and a pun. I’m a sucker for puns.

But no self talk will uncross the line in the sand. My hypocrisy sticks in my throat.

Close all browsers.

Delete all history.

Since forever.

After a shower and new age tree music, I feel no cleaner. New age tree music usually does the trick.

As I insert my earplugs to drown out the television, a plan takes to seed in my brain. I must find Sad Boy.

I will find him. I will apologize for humankind. And for my own brief amusement. I will take a picture with him. We will both smile. And I’ll have that to remember that Sad Boy is going to be okay.

Yes, this plan washes my guilt. It gives me hope. It helps me feel better about humanity, most particularly myself.

I do not pause to consider that this plan is creepy. It amounts to stalking. This plan is exactly everything that is wrong with society. These realizations will come too late to prevent these outcomes and maybe too late for redemption.

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Next: Four