insta- life

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic
what would happen if the world of social media became the real world we life in

Submitted: May 31, 2016

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Submitted: May 31, 2016

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Everybody likes to be ‘liked’, it’s only natural, it affirms your place in the world. the new improved version of the simple pool of water that a shallow Greek boy admired himself in Social media, gives building, shops and places and even the odd shoe the chance to be ‘liked’. the once humble shopping mall now hungers for popularity, to be a star equally as famous as human celebrities. Just like celebrities, malls are always being renovated, a nip and tuck here and there, a makeover to keep up with fashion. Chanting a mantra like a Buddhist monk, ‘it’s all natural’, when it is said enough times it becomes real. A shopping mall has become an emotional fragile creature, just like all the others that believe the only thing that matters is popularity. After all everybody likes to be liked.

Sitting in a small room where the kitchen, bedroom and living room occupied the same real estate, Sa-ran (real name George) was grooming his fashionable beard, fashionable man-bun hairstyle. Gender equality had allowed men assimilate women’s fashion. His studio apartment was equal parts movie set and walk in closet. Different vinyl facades and props were everywhere. Because of this Sa-ran, had the ability to be anywhere in the world for his selfies. With careful lighting and camera angles he could turn his decrepit bedsit into the Palazzo Versace (easy to manufacture as know body had actually been there).

The hours of manufacturing his online profile were beginning to pay off, he was becoming instafamous. He posted a selfie and waited… his profile was trending but Sa-ran was inpatient, he sent his friend with benefits (all benefits and no friend) a text msg with the same picture. Kara was a good accessory to have, here instant reply, of smiley faces gave Sa-ran the approval his was seeking, he ignored the rest of her msg; a question about something, he did not pay attention as it did not matter.  

Sa-ran thought it was only a matter of time before they came looking for him. A beautiful man could go places. Be somebody. To encourage his star to shine brighter Sa-ran did the best thing for his popularity.  surrounding himself with others that are popular he headed to Pitt Street Mall. the most popular of the popular malls, at the heart of Sydney’s CBD. This little secret trick Sa-ran understood, that’s why his tiny apartment was a movie set. All you needed was to be perceived as popular. After all, everyone likes to be liked.

The spectacle of retail shopping is a sight to behold. Mirrors, mirrors everywhere, glass and stone polished for the convenience of shoppers to bask in their reflected glory. Walls are not boundaries, but places for moving pictures, gateways to other far ways places. Happy shopper can be taken to tropical islands, celebrity parties and the occasional bedroom full of supermodels having pillow fights in designer underwear, it seemed this was all supermodels did. Retailers are more than just places to buy stuff, that could be done over the internet. Sa-ran could express his individuality in line with everybody else. Service with a smile, a place without boundaries where anything could happen. Entitled anemic Australian boys purchased the latest athletic brands, looked in the mirror and saw, super star African American athletes, not their pimpled faces. Seeing in themselves all the privileges of being white and the sex appeal of being black. Who could blame them for wanting it all, the country has taught them to steal for generations. Fat bottomed women with Kardashian handbags see sex appeal in the mirror, not unhealthy lifestyles and cosmetic surgery. Popularity makes fat the new sexy and fake the new reality. Sa-ran felt like he belonged in Pit Street Mall, he felt a certain warm heartedness towards the advertisements and smiling shop assistants, it was almost like they were family. He was completely at home next to the models, who he thought of as brothers and sisters. Sa-ran looked at himself in a shop window approving of himself, his reflection approved of him, with a sly wink and a double thumbs up.

The mall, like its happy shoppers, competed to realize what was in the mirror. It became jealous of a cinema that had a map of Australia vomited up on its foyer floor and put under glass for all the spectacle of all to marvel at[1]. Draw into the national pastime of one-up-man-ship. A series of likenesses were commissioned. Normally they would have been called statues, but these likenesses personified everything that the happy shoppers wanted to see in themselves, attractive, smart and powerful, wealthy. They walked as if on a catwalk, took selfies, talked only from the perspective of I or me and could be generally found gazing at their reflections at every opportunity. The shoppers found themselves attracted to them, not considering them inanimate objects with scrolls buried inside their heads (this gossip, was quickly dismissed as anti-Semitic talk about Jewish golems. a country can deny its own holocaust but must be culturally sensitive to one that is popular among countries), but living breathing part of the shopping experience. Curiously, tourists would visit, unaccustomed to the ways of shopping malls and valuing functionality over form could not understand what was the point of these manikins made of mirrors.

 Twittering news of a new billboard reached Sa-ran’s profile. The mall was part of his mutual appreciation society, he followed it and it followed him. While spreading the exciting news, Sa-ran received another message from Kara. He reminisced with a tingle of pleasure. She was like him. She hadn’t resorted to porn, not the sexual kind at least, but was striving to be an internet star. Saran liked the mirrors in her bedroom. They were not kinky depravity, but served an important purpose, while crating the beast the two backs, Kara and Saran could stare at their own reflections. He liked Kara she was good profile bling.

Sa-ran was trending; Kara was popular enough to be around Sa-ran, but not too popular of course, as long as it stayed like this and of course it would, it could be serious. he opened the message:

I can no longer be with you, you’re not the same person, you’re not trending. YOLO

No longer trending, WTF. His fingers flew across his smartphone and found his analytics. The world came crashing … everything he worked for … taken away in an instant; instafamous to instafail in the blink of a smart phone.

Sa-ran found himself sitting on a bench across from the new billboard, Staring... She was beautiful. Golden, shimmering hair a symmetrical face with the correct proportions, eyes as deep as the blue ocean (He did not know what that meant exactly but it sounded right). The frame of the billboard was illuminated like a mirror at a theatrical dressing room. The woman under lights and glass, was looking directly as Sa-ran, thoughtfully maybe, waiting for him to speak. Sa-ran who had spoken to many billboards, but none so beautiful could only manage, ‘hello’.

The woman smiled, and spoke with a honeyed voice, ‘well hello yourself handsome, you look like you have just stepped out of a billboard’.

Sa-ran flattered by this remark brightened a little, ‘thank you, but no, I am just a person’.

The woman replied,’ I was one of them once, on the catwalk, I wanted to be beautiful forever and now I am’.

The lit match of an ideal burst to life in Sa-ran’s mind as the beautiful woman preened herself like a prized canary.

Sa-ran asked, ‘really?’, with raised eyebrows.

With a dismissive air looking at her fingernails, ‘I signed a contract and here I have been since, but you handsome, could help me and in return I might help you.

The billboard had Sa-ran’s attention he was like a child waiting for presents to be removed from Santa’s sack.

The woman continued, ‘it’s been so long since I have been touched, you could step in here with me, her eyes hungry, I can never leave, and in return I can introduce you to the contract manager.

‘What sort of man is the contract manager, should I change, do I look ok?’. Sa-ran could see his future before his eyes, everything that he dreamed within his reach.

‘o no not a man, but an angel, a complete angle. don’t worry handsome’.

Saran could not believe his luck, his fans had abandoned him and now a chance at redeeming his popularity. A chance for a modeling contract, a chance to live forever.

‘I…I just broke up with my girlfriend’.

With a seductive smile, the golden haired woman moved back from the front of the picture and beckoned Saran with a long thin finger touching the inside of the glass. With nothing left in his life, Sa-ran stepped through the quicksilver surface of the billboard, to be beautiful forever more.

After all, everyone likes to be liked.

 

[1] Holden’s Performance by Murray Bail


© Copyright 2017 w t morley. All rights reserved.

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