July 20, 2017

A Fall From Grace

Photo courtesy of Pinterest.com

Joey Aiello ’17

His brow furrowed as he stared displeasingly at the screen. “It’s not good enough,” he muttered. Neurotically, he subjected his work to round after round of editing. Friends were contacted for advice and to pledge their support. After what felt like an eternity, he pushed that fateful button and shared his work with a world that was indifferent until proven otherwise.

                       ***

The rain felt cold on his forehead. The ceiling of his cardboard cathedral had been compromised. A darkened pool had formed near its center, intermittently dispelling cold drops from the outside world. One particularly harsh drop, large in volume and frigid in temperature, hit his forehead with a large plop. Damp and shivering, he rustled out of his half-asleep state. With a deep, existential sigh he opened the double doors of his bedroom into the foyer, which was decorated in a dirty New York City alley aesthetic, very modern. The rain fell heavy on the alley. Due to its slight slant, a rushing river had formed on the left side of the alley. Crumpled newspaper pages, candy wrappers, and other discarded treasures made up the convoy of vessels that dotted the rain river’s current. From the asphalt flooring to the decorative broken bottles and tire rims, the alley’s accoutrements glistened in the cold November rain.

He made his way over to the kitchen, a large barrel with a rusty mid-century finish. He peered into the barrel, dismayed by the wetness of its once extremely flammable contents. Cold, hungry, and exhausted, his mind wandered to the memories of pleasant days before he squandered his talents. “A photo of a chicken finger basket with the caption ‘late night snack’ at one in the morning, Dave? What the hell were you thinking!?” he shouted at himself. “Seventeen likes, seventeen damn likes!” City dwellers passing by the sad, wet alley began to notice the spectacle from the adjacent sidewalk. A small crowd gathered to watch the show.

“After midnight? Everyone knows that’s throwaway time for riskier Instagram posts! And not even a pun in the caption!” he screamed to the small crowd on his front steps looking on with intrigue and horror.

“200 likes,” he screamed, “I used to get 200 or more likes per photo!” The crowd grew tired of the increasingly saddening spectacle and began to disperse. He fell to the cold wet ground and murmured “200 likes” while feebly reaching his hand towards the final onlooker. “I used to get 200 likes,” he said choking back tears. “Sure you did, pal,” the man said while tossing a few loose coins in his direction.

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