I am a smartphone addict and the world is going to hell.

She's a Maineiac

nomophobia-1Nomophobia — the fear of being out of mobile phone contact.

A drastic change happened in my life this past year. I ditched my trusty old flip phone from the dinosaur age — the one I never texted on and barely used to even make phone calls — for a damn smartphone.

What the hell was I thinking?

Now I’m addicted to this soul-sucking piece of plastic and it feels sad. First sign I had a problem? If a few hours went by without checking it, my hands would sweat, my heart would pound and nothing would ease the subtle yet unnerving feeling I was missing out on something, anything (ohmygodsomethingishappeningIjustknowit!) unless I checked my phone.

The problem is, once you get that fix, you want another hit over and over again just to maintain.

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Before I went to bed at night?  Gotta check Facebook.

First thing after I had my morning coffee? Gotta check my…

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Numbers

Not that I’m in love with them or anything but they determine how beautiful I am, and how much people like me, or how much they love me. Because how else would I know if not for them following my accounts and liking my posts and pictures? How else would I know if not for them commenting? That’s how I tell with other people. That’s how I can tell with myself. If she has more likes then she’s more popular, more beautiful. He writes better, he’s more humourous.

It’s like a whole new class system, and the numbers are what tell you where you rank. Where your spot is. How far you are from the top. Hierarchy. Who’s better. The numbers are what gives us the answers. How many messages you have waiting for your response. How many times your phone receives a notification. Someone liked your picture. Someone retweeted your tweet. Someone gave you a shoutout. Someone bla bla bla.

And someone else sees your numbers and realizes that it is larger than his/hers. Someone realizes you don’t make as much effort as he/she does. But everyone loves you. You have bigger numbers. Never mind that your life may be total shit and your numbers are all you have going for you. Never mind that that Someone has a family and a nice place to stay. Your numbers are bigger. Why is that? Why can’t Someone have big numbers like yours?

And Mr. (or Ms.) Someone who never leaves his house, who never bothers to go and try living, to see what it’s like, groans within himself about how lonely he is and how no one is interested in him or cares about him. Never mind that people around him actually do care, he’s just too downcast to lift his head up and see them. All Mr. Someone does is look at those big numbers that everyone else has, and wonders why he never gets those.

You’ll Probably Never Read This

Paper Plane Pilots

My car seems to always

know when I’m lost

because it starts to overheat

in a panic

while I’m stuck on the side of the road

wishing I knew where I was

so you could come rescue me

from the heat that is now pounding on my back

while cars pass

not noticing the struggle

that has left me unable to transport myself

to where you are

leaving you to think I have abandoned you again

like I always had in the past

but this time it was not out of wanting

but out of fear

of what you would say

if I did arrive at the intended destination

instead of having to wait

on the side of the road

knowing you would never come

to save me

because you were done with me

before I even started the car

knowing I would never reach you

that I never had…

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Who Am I???

I am…upset. I am lonely. Mad at the world. Mad at myself. Thinking about the future. Thinking about now. I am missing my mother. Missing my home. I am crying inside, and wearing a scowl. I am talking to a friend. Missing him very much. Sitting with one foot up, and the other folded underneath me. I am listening to music while typing on my laptop. I am wondering if I should think or not. If I should let it go, or not. Trying not to be upset, to breathe and not stress. To remember what my mother told me. To be like her. Live for myself and not let people worry me. Not let anything worry me. Because people will always have something to say. No matter what. That’s what her grandmother told her. I love her grandmother. I wish I had met her. Wish she hadn’t died before I was born.

I am going to a funeral, on my sister’s birthday. I don’t like that. But no one else seems to notice. That it’s my sister’s birthday. And my grandfather is going to be buried on that day. No one has said anything. I am…in love. With something that doesn’t exist. I want to be in love. To live in dreams that are real. To like reality.

I am black. And I don’t think it’s a bad thing. I am Jamaican. And I want to go back there. Though I’m scared. I’m a coward anyway. I scare easily. But sometimes I just don’t care. I am twenty, soon to be twenty-one. That is, if I live that long. I always think like that. Where do I see myself in five years? I could be dead in two weeks. I could die tomorrow. I want to be a social worker. That’s it. I don’t “see” anything else. Married. No. Children. No. I don’t care one way or the other. It may or may not happen. And I won’t mind either way. If it should happen it will. If it shouldn’t then it won’t. Not a big believer in fate but…que sera sera.

To Be Happy

Squirming squirming squirming
We run up to the surface,
Grab air,
And race back down,
Wiggle our streamlined bodies
Into our little mudholes
Not caring
About all the particles
We send flying –
Floating rather –
Into the air,
Or should I say water?
Fine then, water.
Floating into the water.
We wiggle and wriggle
Our streamlined bodies
Into our little mudholes
Paying no attention
To the particles we send
Floating into the water.
What the heck is down there?
None of us know,
But we need to get down there
To be happy.

A Good Summer

“This was a good summer.”

“…yeah”

“Because I got to meet you.”

“Because I went out a lot.”

For her it was because she had a social life – a real one – for the first time in the twenty years that she’d been alive. It was because she finally got to do what everyone else was doing; going out with friends, staying out at night. She was doing something new, something different, and she liked it. It wasn’t him at all. He was just a part of it. One of the things she was trying out. Everyone else was walking around holding hands. She wanted to know what that was like. It wasn’t him at all. He was just a part of it.

“It wasn’t me?”

She shook her head. It never occurred to her to lie.

“Oh okay I take it back then.”

“Okay.”

He didn’t sound hurt. She wasn’t very concerned. They remained in their embrace as they waited for her bus to get to the station. It had been a nice evening.

Epiphanies at Twenty: I’m a Hater

Yes I am. I’m a hater.

I’ve been hearing the word “hater” a lot lately. I’ve seen it on T-shirts, caps, in tweets, Facebook statuses, and Instagram pictures. Apparently, haters are unwanted people that get jealous, or even become hurtful, when they see someone else becoming successful. In Jamaica we call that “badmind”. Badmind is your friend who suddenly starts to talk badly about you to others when you start to rise up out of a bad situation that both you and that friend have always been in. Badmind is when someone you’ve known all your life, perhaps a distant cousin, steals from you some new item you’ve bought that you were not able to previously purchase. Basically, badmind is used to describe someone who is in opposition to you becoming happy and successful, or at least happier and more successful than he or she is.

That’s not what I am though. I am happy for people when I see them making a way for themselves. I admire people who have the courage and the will to start their own businesses or who work hard and go after what they want. I wish I could be like them. What I am, is a hater of myself. Pretty strong statement, but one that is true for many of us.

For me it’s beauty mostly. I grew up thinking that I wasn’t pretty although my mother and family friends would tell me that I was. I just didn’t believe them. That’s not what I was seeing. That’s not what I understood from observing people around me. I saw pretty people. And I looked nothing like them. They looked nothing like me. I noticed that they were always with each other. They didn’t spend much time around me. I noticed the people that did stick around me. Not me as a person really, but they were just physically there. The pretty people were together somewhere else.

I wanted to be with them, the pretty people. I wanted to be where they were. Now, they’re even more noticeable. They get a million likes on all their pictures, and their selfies always come out great. They don’t even have to do anything. Even if they’re not smiling, or deliberately trying to look cute, they just look beautiful in their pictures. I wish I looked nice in all my pictures.

People watching is also something I do a lot. I look at people, what they’re wearing, who they’re with, even how they walk. I sense their attitude, and wonder what they’re like, what their lives are like. I notice, again, that pretty people are always with other pretty people. How is it that they just stick to each other like that?

I always look at these people with some kind of longing inside me. Knowing I don’t look like them and thinking it would be nice if I did. I’m not jealous of them. I don’t hate them. I just…think…why do they get to look like that and I don’t?