Old Fossils

You were excited about a Facebook account, I was, President Obama was, hell, even Charles Darwin would have. Facebook was a game changer. It was a stone to a foundation of a new civilisation. So, like everyone, late July 2009 in a Cyber Café on a Saturday morning you did it. You broke your virginity and opened a Facebook account. That day you went home feeling like you had accomplished something. It was not as much as the degree you were struggling with at the time or the small paycheck you were living on, but it created some kind of warmth in your heart to know that you had a Facebook account. Yes, yes, Al-Qaeda was still bombing the United States, Greece was still struggling to get back on her feet from the global economic crisis, but it was no matter, you had a Facebook account. For that moment everything was perfect and when you prayed at night before bed, you asked God to bless Mark. You prayed that he should never have to struggle with a small paycheck ever because to you Mark Zuckerberg had discovered a new planet. He was the messiah and he was leading the world to a new civilisation. God bless Mark.

 

Then came in the urge to jolt a little bit of something each time. The pressing urge like the one to use the bathroom after the fourth beer, to tell people what you were doing, what you were dressing, what you were thinking, what you loved, what you disliked, who and what you wanted and how you wanted it. You did not realise that your life was changing as gradual as the ten tabs that were loading on your Compaq desktop you were staring at past midnight each day of the week. In the office, nothing was the same either, you got to work, hang your coat by the door, switch on your computer and immediately it was on, you loaded your Facebook. You just could not help it, you needed to know what your high school former classmates were doing, what time your girlfriend slept and what she was thinking about when she slept. Nothing was private anymore, not even the sacredness of the bedroom. Well, it was not long before your company established a ‘No Facebook Rule’ in the office which only meant one thing, if you had to do it, you had to do it in a separate tab behind the office work. Mark had indeed decided to mark some changes around here.

 

I don’t know how being hooked on a drug exactly feels like but I would like to imagine it is what you felt when you went two hours without the internet. Facebook addiction, drug addiction, both alike except where when the drugs do bad things to your liver and disrespect your lungs and kidneys, Facebook just sits there and smiles at you slowly messing up your brain such that you would never notice you were hooked.

 

Everyone’s eyes were opening up now and even Charles Darwin lying in his grave turned and exclaimed…

 

If Mark had been timely, then I would have shared the old bones I discovered in Africa on Facebook instead of writing long manuscripts no one would read.

 

That was then, today, you scroll down your Facebook timeline down the years. You are seated somewhere outside probably on a balcony or under a tree and suddenly you decided to go down, down and down. You click ‘Load more’ more times than you can count and suddenly you are on a page with the heading ‘Posts from 2012’. A time when you had lost your job and Bae had just stuad you via Facebook messages that she had missed a period and all you wanted was to ask her to head back, trace her steps until she found her period and consequently retrieved it. A time when everything was wrong such that if you sneezed, then you sneezed wrong. Nothing was right about 2012.

 

Your posts were sad, almost psychotic, and you were pessimistic who saw death as the only redemption. You look at yourself through Mark’s eyes and you cannot even put a face to what you posted then. You continue scrolling and reading and you realise how much you had lost but that does not scare you, what scares you is whether anybody else saw this. You are about to be nominated as managing director of your firm and a council has been asked to look into your history for validation and establishing your reliability on the task the people are about to hand you. You wonder if the Vetting Committee would sink this deep into your life and then shrug, who reads Facebook these days anyway?

 

You take the steps deep and deep into your memory and the more you scroll, the more you realise how different life has made you through the years. You somehow wish you could keep these memories as a reminder of what you have through but then the vetting committee is on your ass and there is nothing you can do about it. So, you delete post after another, rubbing off the year 2012 from your life completely.

 

I was young and stupid.

 

You declare silently and once you are done with 2012, you delete 2011, 2010 and 2009 too. You are a new man now, you do not need these demons to haunt you into your success road. The vetting committee is done now and before the people, they declare you as the new Managing Director of the firm. Your job is to manage and direct. Your job is prestigious and lucrative with a lot of privileges and glass offices that do not come easily to everyone else, particularly, people who have been through 2012.

 

It is not long before the Country’s Executive Office recognises your determination and hard work and before you can say the word ‘Zuckerberg’ you are being vetted again for a cabinet secretary’s position. You have no worries, you took care of 2012 and the likes of 2012 from your life.

 

Who said the devil takes a nap? It is not long before a blogger discovers a post from you former Bae on a page about deadbeat dads where you denied the responsibility of you own child in 2012. The blogger somehow also has screen shots from your inbox telling your former Bae that just because Charles Darwin found big skull bones in Africa, doesn’t mean Africans have big heads. It is there, plain and blank with even photos of you alongside a small boy that looks exactly like you. It is 2012 all over again but this time, you did not post it on Facebook, someone did for you on a blog.

 

The headline news the next day read, ‘Deadbeat Dad cannot be trusted with the lives of Kenyans’.

 

Mark Zuckerberg, you hound, I’ma kill you.

 

Feature Image by Mukiri Gitiri

The Writer:

 

Author: Dennis Peters

When I was I younger, my mother told me not to do drugs. She said something about addiction and it sounded so distant. I never did drugs, instead, I read and wrote and I still got addicted. Now I am here, and you are here too because we have to be here and there is nothing we can do about it. | ©Dennis Peters.

3 thoughts

  1. There is a clearness in your words and in the way they rearrange themselves into something new and vulnerably wonderful. Feeling proud to have known you mate!!

    Like

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