The weight of desolation bears down on me in this crowded room. As I stand in my little black dress—this month’s version—shaking hands and plastering my Crest-whitened smile across my airbrushed cheekbones—I breathe in and out, trying to ignore the echoes of my nervous heartbeats. I am a fraud! I am not really interested in your latest achievements! This room may be what many aspire to, and yet, I can’t bear the loneliness.
Later, as I post my picture in the same fabulous dress, arms locked with my dashing tuxedo-clad husband (real bowtie and all) behind the lonely, anonymous wall of social media, I await the gushing likes and loves. After 60 such thumbs-up, I shut down and give up, satisfied and deeply worried that this empty existence is all that matters to me.
Maybe it’s time for a Facebook break, a Pinterest vacation. So, it’s off to the lakeshore, its white jagged rocks and mountainous horizon fills me with a welcome solitude. Here I really am alone and I’m less worried about feeling that way. Here it’s acceptable that my friendships are mostly casual and artificial, just like the money, black dresses, and bowties.
I am one with the empty, desolate shore. It moves along, day by day, its rocks slowly eroding but unseen. From the outside you cannot see or know how the loneliness chips away at me. How I long for deeper relationships, better things—maybe things not of this shallow world.
Editor's Note: This was my entry into a Flash Fiction contest on IndiesUnlimited.com. Photo attribution: K.S. Brooks.