Facebook: A Verified Certificate of Reality

It’s nearly eight o’clock in the evening and I am standing in front of my computer, staring at the screen, searching for words to express my mind. Sometimes I stop to tiringly run my hand over the cockled cover of Mary Poppins. This morning, water ran through over the floor of my flat. I did not really know how. Perhaps the cats made it. I was surprised at where I have come to, the present world of mine. I can feel that my energy withers away, like leaves in autumns, and my memory dwindles, second by second. I do not really know my past. I remember almost nothing. It is, for me, a far-away land, perhaps utopia, where I cannot return, try as I might.

Holding Mary Poppins and touching it, I can feel something incomplete, in the way its cover cockles. Is it sad because it was soaked with water? I think about the Prince Siddhartha and try to be calm. I think about a normal day when, at this time of the day, I would be out, maybe in a bookstore and end up buying stacks of books which would take me a whole lot of time to finish.

It has been a long wearing day. I went around to find a decent flat to move in. I visited an old, ramshackle apartment where light could be rarely seen and a sickly, rancid smell hung in the air. I wondered how the residents could live there, for months, or even for years, or for decades. A person may be born there and does not live anywhere else until s/he dies.

There is something strange floating, I can feel it but cannot tell what it is. I have tried to be calm yet I hear my strange, angry voice. It is much like a bad harbinger.

I opened The Bell Jar to page 192 (Book-of-the-month Club edition, New York, 1993). It reads:

It was completely dark.

I felt the darkness, but nothing else, and my head rose, feeling it, like the head of a worm. Someone was moaning. Then a great, hard weight smashed against my cheek like a stone wall and the moaning stopped.

The silence surged back, smoothing itself as black water smooths to its old surface calm over a dropped stone.

A cool wind rushed by. I was being transported at enormous speed down a tunnel into the earth. Then the wind stopped. There was a rumbling, as of many voices, protesting and disagreeing in the distance. Then the voices stopped.

A chisel cracked down on my eye, and a slit of light opened, like a mouth or a wound, till the darkness clamped shut on it again. I tried to roll away from the direction of the light, but hands wrapped round my limbs like mummy hands, and I couldn’t move.

I began to think I must be in an underground chamber, lit by blinding lights, and that the chamber was full of people who for some reason were holding me down.

Then the chisel struck again, and the light leapt into my head, and through the thick, warm, furry dark, a voice cried.

“Mother!”

 

Air breathed and played over my face.

I felt the shape of a room around me, a big room with open windows. A pillow molded itself under my head, and my body floated, without pressure, between thin sheets.

Then I felt warmth, like a hand on my face. I must be lying in the sun. If I opened my eyes, I would see colors and shapes bending in upon me like nurses.

I opened my eyes.

It was completely dark.

 

Her words are lyrical, and haunting.

A few weeks ago, a friend of mine posted a photo of his daughter with an A4 page on which she wrote down her ideas for her philosophy class. She was praised for her precocious thinking and eloquent writing. I admired her too because of her soul and her goodness. And I was also appalled at the thought that it was much like when a prisoner has to hold a small board in his hand on which his crime is written. I have wondered ever since whether she wanted to show off her ability and achievement or it was the desire of the father only that drove him to do so. I did not know, and perhaps I will never know the answer.

I am myself among the madding crowd who are anxious to post everything in their lives on social networks. For the sake of sharing? Perhaps. And what else? For sympathy? I am not sure. And I am not sure again about checking-in. When coming to a place, some will check-in first, most of the times with their selfie photos taken in that place, as a way of verification. I feel that if they are not to do so, others cannot be assured that they are really there. Ones cannot tell without Facebook check-ins. It seems like nothing would be true until it is verified by a photo on Facebook, and it is apparently inevitable that the photo should get some like hits in order to be completely true.

Is reality still reality without anyone sees it and talks about it? Is the truth still true then? What is reality in the world, if it is hidden, unnamed, unheard of?

The darkness is falling yet it is going away at the same time. Once in a while, I think my life has ended somewhere.

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