I'm always late


  1. *poke*

    So. Back on Facebook.

    When I deactivated my account, it looks like I had six pokes awaiting my attention. Six little waves of friendship, tiny reminders from friends that they existed.

    They were still there, waiting for me, when I got back.

    I can’t get rid of them.

    Maybe it’s just that the interface has changed, maybe it’s a programming glitch, maybe it’s a ghost in the database, or maybe I’m just an idiot. But I can’t get rid of them. I click the little X next to them, and they disappear… until I load the page again, and there they are, waiting for me.

    It shouldn’t bother me. I should just let it go, learn to ignore that little number 6 sitting next to a pointing finger.

    That number is burning into my soul.

    Poker number one is a woman who invited me down to stay for the weekend, without telling me she’d also invited two other men, in what quickly became apparent was a extended interview as to who she would choose as a boyfriend. I smiled, went to a pub, and watched rugby instead.

    Poker number two is someone I’ve known since university, someone I wish I knew better, someone who is intelligent, and funny, and relaxed with who they are. He and I used to agree pokes were stupid, but neither one of us would stop the poke war we started years ago. Though I guess he won by default.

    Poker number three is probably only my friend because he’s being polite. I get the impression I annoy him.

    Poker number four is an ex-girlfriend of a friend of mine, someone I vaguely knew for years, then knew better when she moved to Manchester. I helped her move house, spending a day lugging furniture around on my own, and then she fed me pizza and dropped me off at the tram stop, because she had to go to the pub to meet her friends instead.

    Poker number five is someone I met at my first job. She’s been a good friend for more than a decade, and I actually see her on a regular basis. I feel utterly incapable of understanding any of her problems with her marriage, because they are so far out of my area of experience. All I can do is look sympathetic, and hope that’s enough.

    Poker number six used to work for me, and made a drunken pass at me at a Christmas party. I still feel uncomfortable talking to her, because I’m not so much repressed as I am the poster-boy for shoving every emotion I have into a black-hole, where they can never trouble the universe again. Which would probably make posts like this Hawking radiation. I took that analogy too far, didn’t I?

    I’ve thought more about these people in the past few weeks than I have anyone1 for years. Every time I look at Facebook, the number is there, taunting me. Fleeting grabs at my attention from years ago are still there, still grabbing my attention, making me think of those people, and the time that has passed since I saw them. For some of them, it’s too long, for others it’s not long enough.

    So anyway. *poke*

    ___________________________________

    1. Except Scarlett Johansson. Obviously.