MY CRISES IN STATUSES

For three disturbing years (disturbing for my friends, but also, let the records make it known, for me as well) I had a series of identity crises on Facebook. Let me stress something: private dilemmas are best resolved outside of public forums. So, for the edification of the wider world, and especially those teeming masses of teens for which Facebook is, in their glassy eyes, as inextricable as an IVF machine, I reproduce here the worst of my doings, my public undoing, my crises in statuses:

“DAVID ROBERTS was woken up by his alarm at about a quarter to six this morning but proceeded to sleep in, hitting the snooze button another time before finally getting out of bed, still yet sleepy (he’ll admit), stumbling into the bathroom to undertake his morning hygiene regimen and, this completed, dressing for work which was eventually reached by two trains and a bus, the last of which wasn’t boarded before a quick breakfast at a cafe in Epping where David Roberts sat at a table eating a slice of banana bread whose core wasn’t properly toasted but there you go, next to which sat a coffee, a flat white, which David can, thanks to informative diagrams on the chalkboard next to the front door, tell you held 6 oz. of coffee, which coffee’s steam rose to a sensible height somewhere in the glare of the morning sunlight flatlining through the cafe’s broad front window, by which window stands the door and by that the sign with the pictorial representation of the cup that David, steam now segueing round his face, was drinking from that very moment, leaving the banana bread in favour of the cup, and then David got up and boarded the bus aforementioned and rode it out to Carlingford, getting off at a sensible distance from the school which sat just across the highway, and whose English staff room seats a comfortable twelve-odd staff members, one of which is currently (if casually) David Roberts, who, as a matter of fact, sits in the staff room now while writing the status that you’ve just finished reading.”

“DAVID ROBERTS is a PAID ACTOR. This guy’s on fire.” (I was in fact neither.)

“DAVID ROBERTS FEELS LIKE HE’S BEEN TORN TO SHREDS BY A PACK OF WILD ANIMALS.”

“DAVID ROBERTS just ordered a coffee in Mandarin, and let me tell you, it beats ordering a mandarin in coffee.”

“DAVID ROBERTS did this! Did that! David Roberts was at this place at this time with these people and here’s the photos to prove it! DJ Whatever really went off last night – isn’t that right, @name-of-friend-of-yours-who-didn’t-invite-you? Here’s an incongruously grainy photo of the drinks I had. Here’s the meal I ate, and here’s the plate post-meal. Here’s some pocket lint! #hilariouslint! Best enchilada eva! But Y is my bed untucked ths morning? Sum1 explain! In-joke about bed untucking shared with 700 and intended for @someone-you’ve-never-met-nor-care-to. This box set, that country I went to, brand name, name-band, name-drop ad nauseum.”

“DAVID ROBERTS just ordered a coffee in Mandarin, and let me tell you, it beats ordering a mandarin in coffee.”

“DAVID ROBERTS begins to suffer from third-person fixation. David Roberts’ fingers – thanks to the compulsive accessibility of his iPhone – are never far away from the touch-responsive face of his Facebook profile, and thusly his mind is forever aflutter with stats that start with David Roberts. David Roberts is waiting for a bus. David Roberts has indigestion. And now here we are – and wasn’t it inevitable? – where the full extent of what David Roberts is doing is planning and writing stats. Disturbing.”

“DAVID ROBERTS hopes you all had a LOVELY weekend!!!”

“DAVID ROBERTS has many friends, and some of them he even gets along with in real life…” (The lovely weekend a thing of the past, apparently.)

“DAVID ROBERTS is, again, a PAID ACTOR. It seems logical to start asking people to ask me for my autograph. So: ask me for my autograph.” (Again, not true.)

“DAVID ROBERTS is on the threshold of something BIG. I mean BIG, as in really BIG.” (I was not.)

“DAVID ROBERTS IS UNDERGOING AN EXISTENTIAL CRISIS.” (This, now this, was true.)

“DAVID ROBERTS worked in a warehouse once.”

“DAVID ROBERTS does a mad impression of The Modern Child, and it goes like this:

(Talking to his mother:) ‘Melissa. Melissa I’m hawt. I need a cold dwink coz it’s so hawt in here. I am wheely burning up. Melissa you’re tired and hawt I can see, you look all tired and old. Can I have a dwink? I need a dwink. Then can I have a cupcake? I need a cupcake. I need a cupcake to get all over the $200 authentic major team’s soccer jersey I wear now as a potent reminder of the coercive capabilities of my blood-curdling screams. Which bwings me bwack to my cupcake proposal. So can I have a cupcake? NO I WON’T BE SICK. I not swick like you, Mumissa. I seen you vomit. I SEEN YOU VOMIT! I did I did I did I did; I seen the vomit and the damage done. Can I have a cupcake? CAN I HAVE A DWINK? CAN I HAVE A CUPCAKE AND A DWINK AND THE WHOLE DANG PLANET ON A SILVER PLATTER?’”

“DAVID ROBERTS would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for letting him into their homes… and their hearts.”

“DAVID ROBERTS is, as of now, on status hiatus. That’s right: David Roberts is hanging up his stat-hat. Now, during his stat-sabbatical it may dawn on him that he took too seriously Facebook’s invitation to share what’s on his mind, and in the dwindling (sic) light of the dawn hour, as the gaps betwixt the slats of his blinds do gradually light up with the rising of the sun, it may alight on his stat-deprived mind that the psychic toll is great and irrevocable, that what’s been shared is forever lost. Yes!: by the emergence of a sun that’s real and the scrolling light of an illumined blind, his psychic bind will be slowly unknotted, and his stream-of-consciousness will flow again where once it had stuttered for the sake of stats. And still, and though: say that by the garish light of day David finds himself immersed not just in the salve of bright daylight but a loneliness stark and irrefutable, a loneliness that had once been appeased by the sharing of David’s incessant thoughts…”

“DAVID ROBERTS IS BACK IN THE STATUS GAME, BABY!”

(It gets worse.)

“DAVID ROBERTS got really down today when he realised he’ll never know what it’s like to be kissed by David Roberts.”

“DAVID ROBERTS is the most attractive person in this train carriage.”

“DAVID ROBERTS reviles his generation’s introspectiveness! What’s more, he does so in a series of self-absorbed statuses (status having always been the key concern of any committed self-aggrandiser) specially designed to excuse him of blame! And about these iPhones: in my day we had ‘vanity mirrors’ (harps on some construct of David’s imagining, relieving the tension but distracting, distracting), the worst of which were shaped like hearts so that one could behold their face so bordered; today’s vanity mirror you tote and gaze into but here you can CHANGE, you can MODIFY you! (Here David, having written so much, wishes he’d never undertook this; and in apologetic parentheses he starts to back away: is it only *himself* he is writing about? What, exactly, is he trying to achieve?) You kids (continues the imaginary curmudgeon) just can’t stop poking away at yourselves (the construct by now so parodic its dentures are falling out onto its blanketed lap) and you just don’t care, you just don’t care… (but sleep has descended, the rocking chair’s still, and no doubt David’s status tomorrow will make out like nothing has happened).”

“DAVID ROBERTS doesn’t remember giving the makers of ‘Magic Mike’ the rights to his life story, but there you go.”

“DAVID ROBERTS is now a proud father!” (I was not, nor am I now. This was written by a friend, but seeing all the ‘likes’ I was accruing, I went with it and wrote the following:)

“DAVID ROBERTS met this girl at some, I don’t know, Developmental Day, and she was obviously a very idealistic young woman and me, I was the male equivalent, I guess, and over sandwich quarters we struck up something of an accord, she with her bangs and sideways glances, I with sandwich quarters and a sweater thoroughly becrumbed… Her hair coquettishly covering half her face, she asked what I aspired to. “Happiness,” I said, my eyes at a level with hers. Her eyes responded in kind, they did, and thus was born to us Simon Magnus Roberts, coming in at a surprising 6 lb. and sporting eyes of the kind that shone when his mother and father first met.” (All bullshit.)

(Three days later I wrote:) “DAVID ROBERTS is missing his little man :'(; it’s Simon’s first day at school today. They grow up so fast.”

“DAVID ROBERTS was sorry to learn that Simon’s new school friend is imaginary. Just seems a little pathetic, really.”

“DAVID ROBERTS might just wrap this up here and now, if it’s all the same to you:

In the first sentence, David’s non-existent son Simon has already left primary and is priming himself for high school, at which point a sub-clause discloses that David’s equally non-existent wife – a brilliant intellectual and bra model both – is having her second phantom pregnancy, Simon having been her first. (It should be noted here, too, that David’s ‘lady’ is as unimaginably beautiful as she is imaginary; that is, extremely). Parenthetical aside aside, sentence three reveals Simon to be 30 and enjoying ridiculous fame in a society even more intent on valorising nobodies; in a much-publicised interview seen the world over, Simon professes that David was ‘never there’ as a father, which statement David finds especially rich coming from a non-existent son. Indeed, he’s watching his son defame him from a retirement home in the fourth and last sentence, but senescence has worked conversely for him (as had, indeed, his whole life): senility means that sleights against him aren’t just perceived but actual, he talks to people who are living and within earshot, and after the interview he is often heard ranting ‘I have no son!’, which is entirely true.

AND WHO SAID POSTMODERNISM WAS DEAD?”

(And on it goes.)

“DAVID ROBERTS is a SCORPIO. You’re welcome.” (A desperate bid for identity, perhaps?)

“DAVID ROBERTS goes to the doctor and says, ‘Doc! Hey Doc! I feel like a pair of curtains!’ And the doctor says:

‘My God. You’ve every reason to.’ So I’m currently installed at Hornsby Hospital,

in an east-facing, third storey window. I can’t seem to get through

the pane.”

“DAVID ROBERTS circa 2010 wafted through my window last night. ‘David’, he beseeched from his purchase on my bed, while a blustery north-easterly whipped curtains round his head, ‘what’s with the Facebook statuses?’”

“DAVID ROBERTS’ Facebook statuses have been turned into a set of laminated ‘flashcards’ and boxed under the title, “Recognising a Nervous Breakdown”. Promises to be a big, big hit.”

“DAVID ROBERTS has got precisely NO comments in regards to his amazing looks tonight. It’s eerie.”

“DAVID ROBERTS gets emotional at beaches.”

“DAVID ROBERTS wants to know what happened to you, Amelia. I’m well aware that nothing less than the very description of your job was to welcome people to the newly renovated pub at which we met that night – and a fine job you did of it, too – but nowhere was it required that you welcome people into your *heart*. ‘I’ll see you there,’ you’d said, all earnestness and light, but as the agreed night descended and your emergence went from imminent to non-existent (in painful increments composed of unknowing, of a promise not broken but gradually bludgeoned), the memory of your buoyant face began to take the lurid hue of the varnish slapped on the premises where you’d made your fickle promises. So now I welcome *you*, Amelia, to come forward and explain yourself. Your failure to respond to a status you have no way of seeing will only fuel my irrationality.”

“DAVID ROBERTS is sitting near the Opera House, looking at the Harbour Bridge. To think there was a time he could do this kind of thing without telling everyone.”

“DAVID ROBERTS turns 25 in 10 days. I have to say that it has been an absolute pleasure being able to watch myself blossom over the last twenty-five years. Congratulations, David; only ten days now, buddy.”

“DAVID ROBERTS would just like to congratulate everyone on their engagement to everyone else. Congratulations.”

“DAVID ROBERTS celebrates himself.”

“DAVID ROBERTS would just like to remind everyone that he is an actual human being with real human emotions. Thanks.”

“DAVID ROBERTS wants to be married in four months. Who’s in?”

“DAVID ROBERTS has the best partner/spouse in the World! Not only did s/he just buy me the best present in the best city in the best country in the world, but s/he just donated all of her kidneys to the kids in the orphanage we visited last week (partner/spouse: “I feel like the reason I was born with 200 kidneys is because I was born to GIVE”). Also, we’re soon getting married while space diving.”

(Caution: the following three statuses show you just where you’ll end up if you entertain this level of self-indulgence. Just a warning that some of the following content is upsetting.)

“DAVID ROBERTS doesn’t know why his reminiscence is lit with some transcendental glow, but lo: there he is, but a year beforehand, and young, an eternal eager-beaver and mistaken, misunderstood performance artist (whose project, his life, is a work-in-progress), sidling up to a seat just aft of a lass in limbo (her eyes at half-mast in tribute, perhaps, to her graveyard of slain brain-cells), and saying, so it slips out the side of his mouth, “I was here, but a year in the past” etcetera, that infernal and asinine rigmarole. (And around and around and around we go.)”

“DAVID ROBERTS HAS WITHSTOOD THIS WEEK ALONE: his being upended on the floor of a venue; waking fright, terror in slumber; the skewed spewings of inoperable photocopiers; a ‘click’ in the deep of his hip (when walking), a sense of his going unheard (when talking); classes in which, mid-garbled speech, he wished that the teacher would please shut up; repeated entreaties from his Year 10 students to show them ‘The Grapist’, a YouTube skit; and finally (but perhaps most relatable of all), his very own Facebook posts.”

“DAVID ROBERTS continued to rant ineffectually into the vacuum – leaving no truthism, non-sequitur or turn-of-phrase unturned – and without exception everything said evaporated into the internet ether like so much pollen, indiscernible dust-mites, so much SUPPOSED FRIENDSHIP.”

(Thank you for your time, and please: be wary.)

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One thought on “MY CRISES IN STATUSES

  1. Pingback: MY CRISES IN STATUSES | D.L. Roberts Dwells

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