Featured Fiction

// Colin Spensley

I often lay awake in my bed at night. My air conditioner is broken, so the temperature in my room is usually quite high; the musty smell of the carpet lingers as a haze, adding to an overall feeling of being trapped in of a cell. Those stark white walls don’t help either. I’ve often thought of putting up some pictures: Rock n’ Roll bands, inspirational landscapes with quotes, flags, kittens … anything. It’s so hard to pick something when you don’t really like much of anything. Books don’t interest me anymore, music just gives me headaches, and friends … well, as you can guess, I don’t have many of those. Food has started to taste like chalk; all of those wonderful meals my family used to share around our old oak table seem like an old black and white film in my mind. I had a boyfriend once but he left me at the bus stop when he enlisted in the Marines. Ironically, his name was Mark too … Oh? Have I not mentioned Mark yet? Maybe I’ll stop boring you with all the things I don’t like; that seems so dreadful, doesn’t it? I guess basically the pit my life has fallen into contains two things: Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and the smutty fiction I write about him.

I guess this didn’t really start when Old Mark left me at the bus stop; no, it started long before that, when Mom bought me that PC desktop. This was around 2007, and I had recently graduated high school with little thought of any future outside of my own personal prison of a social life. Things are so much easier in solitude: no one tells you how weird you are or how crooked your teeth may be. No one leaves you at the corner as you stare off into the sun, the pavement radiating beneath you, in the heat of an unusually warm April afternoon, as an unmarked school bus takes the last glimmer of hope from your life.

But Old Mark was stupid, he didn’t know how to program multi-billion dollar websites. He didn’t have an incredible film made about his life starring Jesse Eisenberg and Justin Timberlake. No. He never had any of that. Old Mark had a car though; he used to drive me around in it with the windows down in the cool autumn. He’d get a kick out of watching me wrap myself in scarves and coats trying to stay warm. Old Mark never got cold. Old Mark never cared about anything. My New Mark cares so much about me. He sends me updates straight to my personal email address reminding me that I have the opportunity to attend a Young Christian Youth Community Picnic at one in the afternoon next Saturday. New Mark lets all my old classmates, ex-coworkers, and family members know when it’s my birthday. He probably messages them directly and encourages them to write wonderful little messages about how much they love me. New Mark likes all my photos, updates, and notes … at least I like to pretend he does.

I like to pretend a lot of things about New Mark. It’s my way of getting closer to him. I like to imagine we live together in his mansion in Los Angeles. He wakes me up every morning with a naughty romp in his double-king-sized water bed that’s nestled beneath a massive LCD screen. We watch The Social Network every morning over breakfast and make love in his “Data Collection” room where he keeps tabs on everyone we know.
“Can you believe Natalie Portman has been going all the way to Sunset Boulevard to buy her coke?”
We laugh together and he types fanatically at his gold plated keyboard. We don’t need to eat or sleep or dream or drink. Our love feeds off itself and that’s all we need. He takes me on lavish trips to exotic countries where he dines with royalty who are so fascinated by his genius.
“Mr. Zuckerburg, where on earth did you come up with the idea for Facebook? It’s just so fascinating,” says the Prince of Switzerland as we feast on roasted, endangered mountain goat fondue.
“Oh that silly little thing? Well, to be honest, it was all for her, she was my inspiration…” Mark looks at me with that sly grin of his. “It was just a way for me to get close to my one true love … Suzy.”
The prince of Switzerland laughs and Mark leaps to his feet with the agility of a jaguar and drives a steak knife into the prince’s throat.
“No one mocks true love in front of us, we are its last guardians.”
A glimmer of understanding flashes across the Princes eyes and he dies in a pool of his own blood while Mark and I make love on a bear skin rug by the fire.
I keep hearing more and more how Facebook stores all your messages, data and conversations. I can only hope that one of these stories reaches my love, New Mark.
I type it as sensually as I can into that blue and white text box that has become my one-way link to the man I love.
“Do you know I’m out here? Of course you do. How silly of me to think otherwise. Well, I’m waiting. You know I’m just a ‘SEND’ away. Anytime you want me, just press ‘SEND.’”

// Colin Spensley, Writer
// Illustration by Tyler Hughes

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© 2011 The Capilano Courier. phone: 604.984.4949 fax: 604.984.1787 email: editor@capilanocourier.com