The Curated Life

“Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift, that’s why it’s called the present.” – Bill Keane

Starting in February, the Monroe Country Tourist Development Council opened the entry form for their Flash Fiction Contest (500 words or less). Although I did not win, I still stand behind my piece. Here it is for your viewing pleasure:

She brushed her golden locks behind her diamond laden ear as she snapped the perfect shot of herself in front of the glorious, infamous green flash over the Gulf.

With a tap of her finger and a hashtag or twelve her manipulated life was curated for strangers that she called #friends.

She scampered to the pub to knock a few back. Footsteps in rhythm on the bar. Snap, snap, snap. The filters were flying as she posted a rhapsody of her moments where she felt #free. She giggled at the attention of the other patrons and indulged in free drinks from possible mates. The comments and hearts and thumbs up poured in and she felt #loved.

Despite pub goers’ advances and forceful drunken gropes, she went home stag. She wipes off the painted mask she wears in a quiet room filled with nothing but air. Crawling into bed she only has the photos to keep her warm but she feels #blessed. As she slips off to slumber she is hopeful for tomorrow.

As she awoke to the light filled room she felt rushed to get up and into the world. After an involved round of powdering, plucking and glazing she #wokeuplikethis. Another eternity of primping lends to leaving for brunch.

Upon arriving she is greeted by acquaintances she calls #besties. #Mimosa. #Nom. #Foodporn. There is no time for pleasantries when there are #goodtimes to be shared. One hand on her phone and one hand on her fork, she sits waiting for response from her followers. Has she pleased them? Do they love her still? A relieved pride washes over her face that she stuffs with a Belgian waffle as approval and reassurance rolls in, one notification at a time. Her self-worth swells and she is validated.

Island hopping while she’s #onaboat rounds out her afternoon. Everyone smiles and looks their best as polite conversation occurs. Yes, they heard the local generic sports team was doing well and Congress had the nerve to sign that bill– yes, you know the one. And they got in on opening night of the newest play and club. They’ve all been meaning to make it home but life has just gotten in the way. Adulthood tying a noose around their necks they maintain that they are “comfortable” and “okay”. She nodded in agreement so they would not perceive her lacking depth.

The boat docked. FaceTime rings, she hastily answers.

She stepped onto the street– phone at her face. In the split second that it took the lights to approach her pale, frail body there was nothing her followers could do. As she crumbled to the pavement and the light was growing dim she wondered if now everyone would know she was lonely the whole time. The charade was up and the facade came crashing down. As the horizon flashed green; night came to swiftly escort her home. #Alone.


The point I wanted to convey is to be present. Be present for the moments. Be present for those you love. Be present for yourself. ❤


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