9/02/2012

The Facebook Effect

Here's a poem to celebrate that moment in time when your mental image of someone from thirty years ago meets an online image of them now.

I call it the FaceBook Effect, the turning point when you click on a name in a Facebook "Friend" request, remembering them quite clearly in the mothball crates of your fossilized memory, and then encountering the reality of them now. And then realizing that they're doing the same with you.





Or for the video impaired:

The Facebook Effect

I knew a girl in high school,
Beautiful, beyond my reach.
And when she was in class with me,
My mind you could not teach.

I stared at her, until she looked,
And then I glanced away,
For I was so embarrassed that
My gaze just could not stay.

We went through school for four long years,
Together, yet apart.
I never got the nerve to tell her
What was in my heart.

I never spoke of love, or lust,
Even even of a crush.
I only had to think of her,
And then I’d start to blush.

So I just kept it to myself,
And let her go her way,
Thinking that perhaps we’d meet
Some far and distant day.

And then I’d tell her what I thought,
And hope she felt the same,
Or just be happy if she could
Remember my first name.

I’d tell her that I waited for her
Lo, these many years,
How fate had brought her back to me...
And then I’d dry her tears.

She would, of course, remember me,
And say she’d felt as much,
And then we’d stop our talking and
Our lips would gently touch.

And so I was amazed to see,
Within my FaceBook site,
A Friend request from this old flame,
Just the other night.

I paused a moment, wondering,
If it was really her,
Or maybe she just shared the name,
Coincidentally conferred.

And so I clicked upon her name,
Which took me to her wall,
So that I could see her pics
And from them make a call.

She lived these years, lingering,
Upon my mind, inert,
Pretty, fresh, and full of life,
And terminally pert.

And then I saw the photos which
Were taken of her since.
This was the very person,
Though the pictures made me wince.

Where I recalled some dimples,
And a quiet, pretty smile,
I now saw teeth that had been stained,
By tobacco, wine, and bile.

And in my mental image,
I could still recall her grin,
But in the photos on the page,
I saw an extra chin.

(Or two). In fact, the only feature that
Reminded me of her,
Were the sparkling eyes, which now peeked
Out from eyebrow fur.

The wrinkles were to be expected
(All of us have those),
But the lesions, sores, and pustules
Covered her from head to toes.

At least she still had lots of hair
(I’d loved her golden tresses),
But most of it sprang from her nose
And hung down to her dresses.

Yes, this was the same old girl,
The one from my old dreams,
But time had had his way with her,
Instead of me, it seems.

And so I went back to my page,
And made my Friend election;
I pulled the menu down and clicked
“Not Now” for my selection.
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