Writer’s Note: This is a companion piece to another post I wrote two months ago called “Forum_Post” They’re quite similar in that they share basic elements, but they do have their differences. I would love feedback about which one is better to help my revision process.
“some day, some day soon,” she wrote with her trembling fingers striking her laptop’s black chiclets, “I’m not going to worry about friends. About people that call themselves my friends but are just people I know. I’ll laugh and throw my head back and say that I shouldn’t be called ‘friendless’ or something idiotic like that I should be known as ‘friend-free.’ Because those cluttered social ties that everyone hypes about just will get in the way.”
In the back of her head, Violet reminded herself of all the online studies she’d brushed up on, the reports declaring that having no social connections was the equivalent of smoking something like twenty cigarettes a day. Or twenty packs a day. Violet’s memory on this matter was getting gray.
She went on striking the keys in front of her because it felt natural, like the keyboard was just an extension of herself and her mind, which wasn’t often for her, especially when she had an important paper due the next day with not one paragraph written for it already.
Taking her hands for a moment away from her laptop, Violet counted on one hand the people she knew.
Her other hand hung lamely at her side.
She counted again, and then a third time, and each time the result was the same.
Then she went on typing. She told herself that this was the sensible thing to do. To get her frustrations out onto a screen where she could understand them better after a cooling-down period.
Except this was her Twitter account and every sentence she typed became its own tweet, sent out to her twenty-three followers that were all people she did not do, and as a result, were not included on her hand-calculation of social connections.
A craving for likes, hits on the simple heart icon provided online, was coursing through her brain. To get just one like would mean a notification that would jolt her mind awake that there were still people out there who cared about her and, even, agreed with her views on friendship and friends or the lack thereof.
But no likes, and she’d been going at this for the past twenty-three hours. Her fingers were trembling.
No replies, either, although Violet told herself she’d be fine without them, such was her fear of becoming ratioed for her comments.
Of course no retweets, but Violet believed that wouldn’t be any reason to stop. There would come a time when some genius part of her raging brain would produce something viral, sensational, worthy of at least one like.
At some point, too, Violet’s eyes had crossed a line. Because now the pixels making up her laptop’s screen were emblazoning themselves on what she saw, her retinas fumbling for a clear image that would allow her to focus as her nimble fingers still attacked the keys beneath them. The pixels to her looked like little cells.
Twenty hours earlier she’d convinced herself that she need to call one of those people she knew to help her, to rescue her, if the cells got any bigger or sharper than they already. But twenty hours later, Violet realized that if she did so, that would go against her point that they were just people she knew and that was it. A friend would help her, she thought.
Which meant it would never happen. Nor did she want it, to, either.
So the chiclet pounding went on. Violet’s eyes were beyond bleary. Clack, clack, clack. She told herself this was better than having friends.