By Prospero Pulma, Jr.
Here’s what I’m thinking: I’m going to clench my fist, and slowly, slowly extend my middle finger and wag it at your fair-weather, snotty faces.
I read my update on the textbox. Perfect. All I need is to press enter on the keyboard to send it to the newsfeed of my friends on Buddies.com. About a dozen of them are online at this moment. By nightfall, a great fraction of the thousand or so people on my friends list will see my cyber dirty finger. If they bash me, I’ll just close my account and have my shadow as my company like it’s always been.
My pinky hovers over the enter key. Then negative vibes. Ben Celestine and his positive vibes hit me. Ben spreading his message: “Stay away from NEGATIVE people! Bring POSITIVE vibes! Stay POSITIVE, peeps!” Ben, the disgraced governor’s son and dictator’s grandson bringing light to a world that is cynical even on social media. I hit delete. Positive vibes.
I scroll down the screen. At the top are my favorites –politics, history, current affairs. Because of computer algorithms beyond my comprehension, entertainment news and gossip that stunt the mind stream into my newsfeed. Then articles about aliens on Mars and the moon, read by people who believe that E.T. built the pyramids.
You’ll never know until you’re dead. I scoff at atheists calling Christ a hoax and Christians warning of the Rapture.
Photos of friends flaunting their latest car, house, fine-dining trip, vacation, partners, and other trophies get my eyes rolling. Trophies, trophies. It’s all about trophies.
I pause on news about a politician accused of massive plunder vying for the country’s presidency. I think of adding, “Feed him to the sharks! Confiscate everything, even the underwear of his family and cronies,” to the comments calling for his ouster and public hanging. But positive vibes hit me, so I quit the online lynch mob.
A message bubble pops up in my inbox. Well, what do you know? It’s a reminder that Ben is turning a year older today. And Ara, too. Ara who? Her name is not on my list of physical friends and acquaintances. Her profile shows that she’s a friend’s friend of my high school classmate’s friend. I skip greeting her. She’ll also probably rack her brains for memories of me.
I visit Ben’s wall and see some birthday greetings. Most are the usual dry, “Happy birthday.” A few go further with, “Happy birthday, Ben. We believe you’re innocent.”
News about Ben’s legal predicament has become part of my daily reading fare. I remember the people, grieving their lost fortunes and futures, facing him in the courtroom. The perfect message enters my mind, “Hey, Ben! I hope you choke on your birthday cake, Swindling Pig!”
Electrified by positive vibes, I type on his wall instead, “More years for you, Ben.”
More years for you in jail, I snicker.
Prospero owes the editorial staff of international literary e-zines and major Philippine publications a million thanks for publishing his works. He has an upcoming flash fiction piece in a Splickety Magazine anthology. You can see more of his work here. Soli Deo Gloria!