“And this is one of you glaring into the screen of your phone begging Instagram to deliver you another ‘like.’”
The photograph was of a man. Some would say that I was this man, though I would protest much. I swear it was as if his eyes were to pop right out of their sockets. His neck was tilted at an impossible angle and his hands were clenched into a claw. The claw seemed to extend out to a most monstrous crooked thumb. Scrolling and Scrolling and Scrolling.
“I knew that I had a bit of a dependency my good friend Dante, but I didn’t know that it would be this ugly,” I admitted through intense waves of sadness and disgust.
As I hunched over to weep, the men in all of the picture frames along the perimeter of the rotunda began to laugh. They were laughing so hysterically that I looked up to ask my friend why all of the “Davids” laughed so heartily at my expense?
“They laugh because you cry. Why don’t you give them a taste of their own medicine.”
I thought about what that could mean for about ten minutes and then stood up. I walked over to a photographic still, in an elaborate art deco frame, of a man that looked just like me texting while driving a vehicle. He was now not only texting and driving, but laughing like a fucking hyena. I wiped my tears from my face and began jumping up and down like a complete lunatic frantically and authentically cackling at the stupidity of that action “David” was performing. “You are (laughing) such (laughing harder) an absolute moron! (Tearing up now) How are you so idiotic to think that you’ll survive (ROTFL) all of these drives.”
Through the glass of the frame I witnessed carnage like I had never seen. A head-on collision. Blood everywhere. My “body” dismembered and my left arm ripped off from the treads of the other driver’s tire as it skidded over the flesh and bones that shot through my windshield. It was totally my fault. I was looking at my phone.
A wife left without a husband. Students left without their teacher. An album left unfinished. Years, like a rug, ripped out from under me.
“Was that real?” I asked my Master.
“Only as real as you’ll allow. Patience. This is only the beginning.”
The frame went black. Unlocked. And revealed an infinite hallway behind it.
“After you,” Dante beckoned.