Lives are lived online now. Some people live more online than they do off, but it’s easier to live the dream if they share that they’re living the dream. They craft their social media bios to say the things that they secretly wish were true, because they figure that is what they should wish to be true.
“Loving theatre, music, movies and friends on patios.”
When her friends are with her anywhere else, she doesn’t love them. At least not as much. She gets antsy and wants to leave to dream up the next glorious thing she is going to post online. She thinks about snapping some pictures of old buildings and the candid moments of the passersby to share with her online friends. The hilarious conversation she just had with her patio friends is quickly tweeted, to share the good times they have. The moments will live on forever online while they quickly fade from her memory.
When she’s not on patios she logs in and grazes on all of her past glories, all the posts she has shared where she is on patios or thinking about patios or leaving patios. The amazing meals she had and who she shared them with. She reads them in less than 140 characters and relives them as if they were fresh experiences.
She sees the posts of others sometimes. Everyone living their dreams doing what they love and making the money they never could have if they stayed in their corporate job. She is one of them now.
“Formerly in a boring office life, now living life in Leslieville.”
It’s a place with a historical appeal. The houses were the houses of the gardeners and brickmakers that worked for the elite generations ago. They all left when the work dried up and the industrial plants rained pollution down on the neighbourhood. They left because it was downwind of the sewage treatment plant and it made no financial sense to put up with it anymore.
Later, young couples would fawn over the huge, majestic old trees and thick bushes that guarded old brick homes and decide to move in. They erected cafes and restaurants and cute little shops and called it home. They laid patios. The pollution dissipated, but the smell still returns when the wind blows the right way.
She read a book one Saturday when she was an accountant in Cubicletown. The author was telling her how she could make all the money she needed in 4 hours each week. He wasn’t special—he said so himself—so why couldn’t she do it? Why couldn’t she just make that giant leap, move somewhere where cubicles didn’t exist, and find her peace?
There are no offices in Leslieville, but there are lots of patios, so she moved there.
Her friends and family were all worried for her. She could tell by the practical questions they asked her, with worry poorly veiled on their faces. They didn’t come right out and tell her they thought she was being romantic. They were thinking things like:
“Life doesn’t work like that.”
“We all want to leave and be artists, but we all have to eat.”
But they never said any of these things.
Apparently, she left her old life. She left to seek adventure and fulfillment in the creative side of town. At the beginning she used her meager savings to pay the bills and spend time in coffee shops, clicking and pecking away at her laptop, altering the colour profile of the photos she had taken earlier in the day ever so slightly. Captured moments needed the best possible colour profile to show the emotion behind the subject. It was so important that it usually took her three no-fat lattes to get it right. Secretly, she took joy in how creative she looked to everyone, taking for herself a table that could seat four. Emptying the contents of her laptop bag she settled in for really demanding, really fulfilling, really creative work.
Now she serves the lattes. She is far more fulfilled being near all the kinds of creative people in Leslieville. She is one of them now.
Her social media bios all show a bright colour profile, beaming yellow and gold. She’s fiddled with them a lot to make them look that way. She needs the best possible profiles to show the emotion behind the subject she’s created in her mind.
For all of her nudging and no-fat lattes the photos she alters minutely all seem to come out the same. Filters and saturation selectors applied to the photos bring out the same cold colour profile, blue and lonely.