here’s the one thing i finished. at least, i think it’s finished.
The 21st Century Dream
(or, all Maraluce’s pessimism in 794 words)
I’ve always been socially anxious, but the internet makes it so nice and easy to stay inside and avoid those anxiety-inducing situations altogether. My mother often told me to be weary of things that seem too easy. There’s always a catch and it’s never worth it, she said. I don’t share that opinion.
I haven’t seen or talked to another human being in months. I’ve been living on the internet in the most extreme sense. By now just the thought of another human being actually seeing me is crippling. I order all my groceries, clothes and entertainment on the internet. When the packages arrive the mailman will simply leave them on my doorstep after ringing, because he knows I’m always home. Before that I would stutter at him through the door to just leave the damn thing on the doorstep. I shudder to think about what he thinks of me. So I don’t think about it. I don’t think much about anything nowadays. What’s the point? There’s Google.
Even this one time when some neighborhood kids stole one of my packages, I still didn’t venture outside my door. I had been in the shower and hadn’t heard the bell. The mailman had been ridiculously early that day. When I spied through the peephole, I saw the kids in question on the other side of the road. They seemed to be waiting for something. I could have easily caught them. I slid the flap back. It wasn’t like that package contained anything particularly valuable or rare. It was no problem to simply place my order again.
All my communication goes digital. I’m a completely different person on the internet. It’s so easy to lie through a keyboard. While I do fearlessly upload pictures of myself, even they’re as fake as a wedding cake. You know how it is, good angle, convenient lighting, all dressed up like you never do otherwise, Photoshop for the rest. Yeah, I’m a rockstar on the internet. Not at all the ugly fat loser who doesn’t even dare go out their own house anymore. But, I mean, it’s not like there’s any real reason to go out anymore in this day and age. My feelings toward that are irrelevant. I’ve got everything I need right here.
Facebook, ebay, youtube, my xbox, food delivered right to my doorstep. I earn my money through online poker. Isn’t it amazing how much can come out of a metal box and a satellite?
I never again have to deal with the likes of old schoolmates, shopkeepers, job interviews. Dealing with people is so much more agreeable through a screen. I haven’t had a single panic attack since I stopped going outside completely. What bliss. I can’t recommend this way of life enough. Especially if you have the same kind of disorder as me.
Sure, sometimes I’ll get inexplicable suicidal urges, but I always ignore them. I know they’ll pass eventually. Valium is also nice. Why ever would I want to commit suicide? Like I said, I have everything I need or want. This is the 21st century dream.
Then my throat started to ache. Whatever, I thought. I just went about browsing tumblr. Suddenly I was flayed by a terrible fever. I permanently retired to my bed, dragging all my electronics along. Not that I even had the energy to turn my laptop on. It’ll pass in a few days, I thought. I vaguely wished I had someone to take care of me. I remembered a time when I was still in high school and had caught pneumonia. That was when I still had a scattering of real life friends, even a girlfriend. They’d visit me with all kinds of things to cheer me up and feed me soup. Being deathly ill had never felt so good. For the first time in years, I found myself missing them. Where’s my valium?
By the fourth day I thought that I ought to call a doctor. But that would require talking through a telephone and eventually face another person. Maybe more than one! My sickness didn’t look so bad compared to that. No, I’ll just stay in bed. Meanwhile I can research my symptoms on the internet and get black market medicine. I don’t need a real doctor, I scoffed.
The medicine I ordered did help, for a while. I had enough strength to play my poker. Just when I thought I was getting better, I got worse again. The fleeting thought of calling a doctor returned. No, I’d rather die than face real people again at this point. And die I did. Quietly, alone, without anyone else having a clue. I didn’t think it was so bad, yet for some reason I cried until the end.
thanks so much for reading! constructive criticism is always welcome.