#InstaAngst I wake up with a start. My head is dripping with sweat, my heart pounding in my ears. I can’t remember what I was dreaming about, but it couldn’t have been rainbows or butterflies. I turn over and reach for my phone to check the time, because I haven’t looked at my actual clock since 2003. 2:35 A.M. I’ve already been sleeping for five and a half hours. My plan to read the new ARC I received has obviously failed. I fell asleep two pages in - no wonder I feel so awake. Now what? I have zero iMessages, no Facebook or Twitter notifications, and I haven't posted a photo to Instagram in three days, so the odds that someone liked a photo are slim to none. Then again there are those new followers who could have gone through my 1300 photos and liked a few, or those creepers who might have liked an old photo of mine by accident while I was asleep. Maybe I’ll just give it a quick glance. I flip onto my back, press the home button again, and then slide to unlock. There it is, the bright colour orange and white heart I’ve been yearning to see. A smile appears on my face. I reach for the too-large-formy-face square rimmed glasses on my night table and put them on. There’s a number 5 beside the sweet, huggable white heart. I press my favourite icon at the bottom of the screen, the word bubble with a heart in the middle.
hgrillone liked your photo hgrillone liked your photo hgrillone liked your photo hgrillone liked your photo hgrillone liked your photo
My smiles fades and depression seeps in. Looks like Mom went to bed later than I did last night. I quickly press the home icon, desperate to see anything but my mom’s approval over and over again. I’m convinced that she doesn’t actually look at my photos. She just likes them all willy-nilly, like there isn’t a point to the quote I spent hours searching for to caption a photo of my outfit. You’d think she’d be more considerate. I prop myself up a little higher on my pillow, getting comfortable so that I can catch up on the 5 hours worth of photos I missed. I wiggle my toes under my comforter, noticing that I’d lost my left sock during my restless sleep… I’ll find it later. Photos of people in costumes take over my feed. Sexy, slutty, and sassy costumes, gory costumes, cute costumes, babies in costumes, old people in costumes, everyone is reminding me that I did not wear a costume for Halloween this year. There are #outfitsofthenight that I missed, photos of pets doing cute things, and photos of couples taking selfies at some sports game or another. Then I see it. A RING. A bright, beautiful white gold ring on the wedding finger of a hand I don’t recognize. I said YES! the caption reads, with 67 comments and 145 likes. I have never gotten over 80 likes in my entire InstaCareer. This is the fifth engagement I’ve discovered this month. What is it about the cold and dreary weather that makes people confess their undying love for one another?! Suddenly the cool darkness of my bedroom closes in on me, claustrophobia grabs hold of my throat and doesn’t let go. I can’t breathe. My heart isn’t just beating, marching in a synchronized rhythm - it’s thrashing my insides leaving my body paralyzed with fear.
The 6th issue of Passion8 Magazine