Pepper Bauer: Meme Magic
The blank face of the cell phone on her desk beckoned to Molly like a Siren Song to a sailor. Furtively she checked out the employees whose desks surrounded hers in the office. No one was looking in her direction. Slipping her hand to the button at the bottom of the phone, she pushed it, and the screen leaped into life showing her Facebook newsfeed.
Molly usually kept her phone on newsfeed. She could scroll up on the screen as she pretended to work, and if she was careful, and kept watch for other people approaching her desk, no one was the wiser.
A Meme with a man on a bicycle caught her attention. “Life is a journey, Enjoy the ride.”
Molly smiled, and immediately felt the tension drain away. “Yes, yes,” she agreed to herself. “That’s right”.
“I hate it when I see an old person and then realize that we went to high school together.” “Don’t worry about getting older. You’re still going to do dumb stuff, only slower. “Hmmm, those hit a little close to home.
A picture of a sad looking bee was next. “Save the Bees”. She frowned. “Bees, the situation was so sad.”
Molly looked up and feigned interest in something on her computer. No one was paying any attention to her, so she focused her eyes back on the phone.
“Do you know that simple phone call can make them happy? Parents, they didn’t leave you when you were young, don’t leave them when they are old.” An elderly couple with walkers filled the display behind the words. Next images of happy hugging people scrolled up. “Appreciate your loved ones while you can because none of us are going to be here forever. Type yes if you agree.” She typed yes, thought about her parents in another state, and decided to give them a call when she got home.
A photo of Sam Elliott appeared with words at the top and bottom of the screen. “The top 5 big pharma companies made over $58 billion in profits last year. If you really think they need Trumpcare’s 28 billion tax break, you must be a special kind of stupid. “Molly felt uncomfortable. Political Memes were not her favorites.
The memes kept coming. “Jewelry takes people’s minds off your wrinkles.” “A woman cannot survive on wine alone, she needs a cat.” “Ha, that’s better.” She laughed.
Time slipped away as she scrolled through her newsfeed. “The best memories come from bad ideas done with best friends.” “I have to stop saying how stupid can you be? I’m beginning to think people are taking it as a challenge.” “Growing old with a sense of humor is better than growing old with no sense at all.”
“Every Human wants to belong somewhere”. Molly stopped scrolling and chewed on her lower lip. The picture was a young couple holding hands and looking very much in love. Tears blurred her vision and tickled her cheek. She’d love to belong somewhere, and to someone. Her eyes involuntarily zeroed in on a young man a couple desks away. He was tan and blond, with wavy hair, and big blue eyes. She’d like to belong with him.
The object of her stare looked up and caught her eye. He smiled. Embarrassed, Molly quickly looked at her computer monitor and pretended to cough.
A recipe slid into view on her newsfeed. “Yum”, she thought as her eyes focused on the man a couple desks away. “I’d like to make that for him.” Her lips sunk into a frown, and then a sigh escaped. “Never happen.”
A supervisor walked into the room and Molly’s attention snapped back to her computer display as she quickly turned off her phone. She smiled and nodded as he walked by her desk, but as soon as his back disappeared out the door her phone sprang back into life.
At this point in her life, Molly’s Facebook newsfeed was a precious lifeline to the world. Keeping in touch with old friends, seeing new things, laughing at the memes; since she had no active social life, this had to do for now. Besides, it just made her feel better; more relaxed.
Pictures of friends and their families slid up the face of her phone and disappeared off of the top as her nimble fingers flicked the surface. More recipes, funny cats, baby elephants, goofy dogs, and more all blurred together as Molly lost herself in the feed.
“If you accept the blessing of Jesus, write Amen. “ It was a picture of Jesus giving a blessing, and Mary standing at His side. Of course she accepted a blessing, who wouldn’t? She typed “Amen”. Next, another picture of Jesus popped up.” I want all my Facebook friends to know I love Jesus. I am not ashamed of it. I declare this.” She shared it to her Profile Page. She would have felt guilty if she hadn’t shared, Jesus would think she was ashamed.
Next a beach appeared. “I just want to lie down on a beach, let the sun hit my face and forget about absolutely everything.” Nice, she mused. “No matter what happens in life, be good to people. Being good to people is a wonderful legacy to leave behind.” Unconsciously, her head nodded.
“What if someone told Thomas Edison to stop the work he was doing because it could potentially put candle makers out of work?” “They have something there”, she thought.
The flashing pictures and words transported Molly out of her mundane office and into a world of platitudes, and other people’s exciting lives. It was a type of self-medication, a distraction from an existence that had become mind numbing, a swirling vortex sucking away her life energy. Her fingers quickened the pace and her attention was laser focused on the newsfeed.
Pastry in hand, the blond young man stood in front of Molly’s desk and watched her for a couple minutes. He bought the desert for her as a surprise, and had hoped they could share a coffee break. Totally engrossed in the alternative universe of her phone, she had no idea he was there, and never lifted her head. Eventually, he shrugged his shoulders and walked to the break room by himself.
“Over the next seven days expect a major increase in your life. Every time you turn around you will receive a blessing. Receive this right now in Jesus name! Like, Share, Type Amen!” Molly looked up and noticed the man’s empty desk. “That’s the blessing I’d like”, she mumbled to herself. Then she noticed the next meme and grinned. The picture was of two hearts entwined. Scrolled across the image were the words, “Someone loves you. Like and share this, and in three days you’ll find your true love.” She immediately followed the instructions, and felt a twinge of excitement and anticipation.
Molly turned off her phone and stared for a long time at the vacant chair two desks away. She really would like to attract his attention, but had no idea if he knew she even existed. With a big sigh, she turned her phone back on and hunched over the desk, the flickering memes reflecting in her glasses. DSS
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