Beth looked out over the water. The boundless pool seemed to stretch out to the edges of the earth, far and wide, clashing with the sun as it dipped slowly into the ocean, setting in the distance. The crashing of the waves soothed her, just like the sounds on the app she used to meditate. Being here now though, with the real thing, it seemed to run deeper. She felt it in her veins, blood flowing easily. Her skin vibrated with leisure as she sat in the wet sand. There was a slight chill in the air, but Beth welcomed it. It was the only place she was herself. The only place she could hear her own heart beat. The only place she felt free from all the bullshit of the world. The world. It was a bitter taste in her mouth. That’s why she came here. Not often enough, but just enough to keep her sanity.
The waves were loud. The only person there as far as the eye could see and still it was noisy. But it was a comforting kind of noisy. A noisy that either helped clear thoughts, or helped bring them to light. At this moment Beth’s brain was full. Busy. She felt small. Insignificant next to the vastness of the water. Not in a bad way. She actually quite enjoyed the feeling. The feeling of not mattering. Of just being human with no responsibilities. She also liked the idea of being swallowed up whole. Of walking into the depths of the steely blue and being immersed completely. She didn’t want to die. They weren’t suicidal thoughts. It was just a tranquil daydream of hers.
She indulged in this fantasy regularly. On the train. At work. Out in bars with friends. She wasn’t actively trying to think of it, it just came to her involuntarily. One moment she would watch her friends, their luminous faces fixated on their phones and the next moment the bar would fill up with cold water, people screaming, trying to escape their breathless fait. Waves crashing in from all sides. Beth would sit. Sit as chaos broke out around her. Her friends gasping for air as they tried to hold their heads above the water. Their phones now floating and trivial. Just as fast as the mirage manifests, she is snapped back into reality. Feeing foolish. Embarrassed.
Here her thoughts were free. Free to be judged by no one but herself. What right did they have to judge her anyway? She was the normal one after all. She was the one trying to live. It wasn’t her fault the world got in the way. The new world. The world of technology. Of phones and filters. The age of illuminated ignorance if you will. Reality seems to be an afterthought these days. The truth only ever examined in retrospect. People hiding behind distorted beauty; perfection being an obligation.
Everyone is happy. Everyone is so fucking blissful with their perfect job, perfect love life, perfect gym attire, perfect holidays and their perfect fucking breakfast on the weekends. When did it become okay to to ignore the suffering, ignore humanity to scroll through lies and depictions of what are actually dreams, not truth. To double tap perfectly round pancakes with a few sprinkled blueberries; #foodie #foodporn. Are you happy? No, you’re hiding. You’re coping. You’re competing. You’re addicted. Every “like” a boost to your ego. Endorphins swarming as strangers give you their approval on a single picture or status or tweet.
Beth sat crosslegged in the sand and watched the tide roll in closer as the sun sunk deeper, almost out of sight. The sky looked as though a filter had replaced her normal vision. This was true beauty. Nature. It was real. It was there… and it was not pretending to be something it’s not. She sighed, feeling defeated. She wanted to do something big. She wanted to change the world, even if it’s just one wave at a time. So she pulled out her phone. Shamefully Beth snapped a picture of her feet rimmed by the tide. The caption read: ‘If you can’t beat em’, join em. #nofilter’. How else was she going to make a change. She couldn’t do it by herself. She needed help. Help of the thousands of followers she’s accumulated with a secret agenda. Feed them their nonsense until one day you have a base so big you can post things that actually matter and still get a response. Open people’s eyes. No matter how much Beth despised the selfie, hashtag, facesnapinsta, headphone generation, it was her generation, and she had a plan.
-written by ActressInReality