The past few weeks since I decided to sell a physical manuscript of my Facebook have been very odd.
Around December 31st, I spent $257 on a round-trip ticket to Las Vegas to visit a friend who I had been talking to for the past several months via the Internet. I was to arrive on something like the 11th or the 9th and stay until the 13th or something; I forget. The person is actually a sweet girl who I find very attractive. Looking forward to vacation and maybe something really nice with a person, I excitedly told all of my friends about her. I requested 5 days off work. We planned to go to LA for a day or two. We talked daily. We even watched “Last Tango in Paris” together over Skype while I was in Pennsylvania. Then, the day before I was to depart to see her, I received a text at 3am that said that her mother would no longer allow my stay, and that the trip wouldn’t be able to happen. The initial text message seemed apologetic; it recognized that it was her fault for trying to organize the trip, and it also ensured that I would be reimbursed by her for my trouble. She seemed genuinely distressed that she wouldn’t get to see me.
Suddenly, I stopped hearing from her as much, and after a while I ceased my attempts to correspond with her as well.
After about a week, I sent her a Snapchat that drunkenly reminded her to send me $257. She responded to this with an accusatory and insulting series of text messages, explaining that none of this was her fault and that I was just eager to ‘suck’ money out of her. Of course, despite it being her mother’s ‘fault’, it is almost entirely her fault for encouraging me to visit—my fault, as well, for trusting her and buying the ticket. Her offer of reimbursement still stood, she said to give her a week. I always saw it as a very kind gesture of hers to offer reimbursement, but I was also very frustrated that she was so defensive and quick to accuse me of being a bad person. A gesture of money from someone who lives with their mom or can otherwise get by without needing to have a job is something that I don’t necessarily feel guilty about accepting. So, I began to rely on her reimbursement [by spending money a bit more loosely]. Then, naturally, she stopped responding to me completely. I felt like she saw me as some debt-collector. I really liked her! Now our correspondences consist an occasional 10-second Snapchat of her beautiful perfect face (one that, understandably, she seems to love taking pictures of all the time. A face that inspired me to try talking to her in the first place) being sent to my phone. Now I hold down the photo and view it for maybe 2 seconds. The majority of the self-portrait’s existence is spent as an 8-second countdown on my Snapchat interface. She ignores my texts, which have become increasingly expressive of my disdain for her as the weeks go by.
The day I was supposed to leave to Las Vegas, I got an email from a local organic produce/grocery asking if I could come in for an interview the following day. Having nothing else to do that week, I went in. I ended up getting a full-time position in a store that I actually respect and enjoy. They needed the help immediately so I started working a couple of days after I interviewed. Obviously, had I gone to Las Vegas, I would only return to my minimum wage 20hr/week job at a chain smoothie restaurant where I got my hours cut for explaining to a customer that the smoothies consist mostly of ice and water. I quit that place immediately without giving two weeks notice. It was the first job I had ever quit as opposed to being fired.
Now I am working full time again and I guess the $257 that I spent on nothing seems petty to worry about too much.
The main thing I have been worried about is the people who have ordered my Facebook archive. I keep having nightmares where the existence of my Facebook archive haunts me into my old age and eventually leads to various degrees of my demise/death. I’ve corresponded with a lot of people via email about the document, and what it would mean for me to release it. I have thought a lot about how I would want the piece to be interpreted. People either seem to love the idea or completely hate it/me. I may write an essay about the extreme and reactionary response I’ve had to the mere idea of it. I think I have a good idea here but I’m not sure this method of release is right. Also, I simply do not have the resources right now to print this. Every time I work on formatting the document in a word processor, my computer eventually crashes due to its size. I made February 1st my goal to complete the orders and I haven’t even come close to being able to print it. I was even prepared to absorb the inevitable printing costs, which would’ve been several times the amount that I charged. I’m really sorry to let everyone down. I expect I will try to do something with all of it some day, in a less profit-driven manner and, hopefully, a more conceptual context.