Category Archives: Facebook

What happens to the past

Technology. Double-edged. As someone who works from home, it’s true that I find Facebook, for example, indispensable. It connects me; it makes me feel part of a community, now that I’m far from the watercooler moments of office life, the beautiful communal suffering of the morning-long meeting, the quips around the kettle. It has its downsides, too. Facebook means that you can never quite run from the past. Vexations to the spirit you’ve long since wisely dispensed with In Real Life linger there, reminding you of Bad Things, like being angry. Being angry with the past. I spied, recently, by accident, a friend that I’d parted ways with some time ago. There they were, their reckless happiness beaming out. They had wronged me – terribly, irrevocably, without apology. But there they were, happy and living their life! The noive! And then there’s the shock of one particular friend suggestion: the boy who took me to Rain Man in 1988, whose reaction to my sensitively conveyed decision not to take our non-relationship any further resulted in some choice malicious slander that went on for years and years. I didn’t think much of the film, either. Is he still the person he was then? I take no chances – with his psychic stability or his taste in cinema. Block! And yet, there he is: on the block, on ice. He’s still there. Life goes on – or does it?

But, once upon a time, we did want to go back, we really did – even as we were in the moment. Affordable home filmmaking. A revolution of the 70s that has preserved us as we were, as we will always somehow be. My old schoolfriend Rich posted this wonderful video of his fifth birthday. I can be spotted in the opening frames, the chubby little girl sitting on the sofa to the left, wearing a fetching maxi party dress, staring off into the middle distance and then spontaneously jumping, as was my wont. I can subsequently be identified as one of the first in line for the scram. Life was so simple then: behold on the table, a plate of Pink Wafers!

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Filed under childhood, Facebook, the past