1057: Facebook Status

1057: Facebook Status

1057: Facebook Status


I’m Major Jackson and this is The Slowdown.

I love receiving end-of-the-year holiday letters. Do you? I’m looking at a collection right now that hit my mailbox early December. There’s something existential and moving about this pile. I love hearing that my friend Jim took up a new hobby last spring, canoe building on Lake Champlain, that Janet has a forthcoming art exhibition and that Kerry’s daughter completed her first semester at Stanford Law. On one, I strain to make out the many photos crowding the last page (I think I see a new puppy). I take in the growth of children and family pets — which is what these annual recaps are all about: time passing. Look at us on vacation in the Alps as we all slide toward our last days.

Professionally photographed portraits of families in carefully-selected outfits on postcards prompt me to run my hand over the gorgeously designed stock paper. I feel special; a family thinks highly enough of me to include among their kin, to fill me in. It’s a renewal of our bond, an intimacy and shared spirit of our journey. Going into next year, we do not need to feel abandoned.

Each year, I promise myself that I’ll write a letter in-kind, but then, modesty overcomes me. I wonder, don’t friends, thanks to social media, know enough about me already? My feed is a litany of news and updates about myself and my family.

It is human to be curious about each other’s lives, to celebrate our friends’ wins and mourn, along with them, their losses. To acknowledge our inevitable changes. Today’s poem hilariously explains why our internet connections are like electrical wires that thread the night, connecting all of our lives.

Facebook Status
by Adrian Blevins

Ally attended a concert, Bev liked a cat, and Catherine married, at 
       long last, that Matt.
Dotty took her driver’s test. Eve liked Trump.
Fiona was fired or had some kind of breakdown. Some said the flu.
Granny told everybody to hush. Hattie went to Hattie’s church.
Ice decided never to change her name.
Janice called her brave.
Katelyn went to Ireland. Or Katelyn said she did. Katelyn could have 
       gone to Walmart. Katelyn could have slept forever in that 
       monster’s bed. 
Loretta posted praying hands, meaning Loretta’s praying now, 
       waiting for the Apocalypse in her rocker on the porch.
Mom said how much she loved loving the living baby Jesus.
Nan got a beer and Mister Nan got a dog, who got shot.
Olena said nothing. Her status space was status void.
Pepper won the lottery.
Quince broke up with Reece.
Reece posted pics of what everybody said was Quince’s pony’s little dick.
Sam was searching for a hamster cage and a water bottle and a bike.
Tex was doped up real bad, unless that posting was a joke.
Urethra is not the name of anyone but that comic from LA.
Vicky’s child had another little child, a boy.
Wynona liked it. She wanted to undress it.
But Xavier, Xavier said, was blue.
Yolanda too. 
Zady said thumbs up to vitamins and little films of fainting goats.

“Facebook Status” by Adrian Blevins from STATUS PENDING © 2023 Adrian Blevins. Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, LLC on behalf of Four Way Books.