Facebook shows me.
Photos of old friends I’ve not seen in a decade, or more. It tells me people who don’t know me from Adam think I should go fund them. It applies a bolt of you know, those hormones that make you start, sweat, and feel like you’re not really here? Like you’re not sure who the hell you are?
It reminds me of long walks with my good dog that finish up at the fire with pint glasses and friends. Bliss I can recall with a blink and a think anytime I like — but I don’t too often as it makes me cry.
It reminds me of walking past 15th century homes on my way to pick up milk and bread, looking around like: “I’m in heaven now.”
It reminds me of my intense colleagues where I felt a rush for the work I was doing, for the permission just to be part of something exciting.
It shows me steak and frite, Belgian beer bought in Bruges brewed by brothers in brown. Waffles on cobbled streets and Flemish masters’ coloured oil.
It reminds me of times I couldn’t walk.
It shows me pictures of my hand, more machine now than man, twisted and evil… or, hopped up on tramadol watching csf leak from my ear.
It shows me pills and slings.
It shows moving boxes.
It shows me moving boxes.
It shows me unpacking moving boxes.
It shows me a new dog.
It shows me my dead dog.
It shows a different car, full of moving boxes, and a different car in a different driveway.
It shows me the letters I wrote to stop the vote. It shows me my pleas not to rip Europe away from me.
It shows me stood with the Queen’s face acrylic as a man with a sword stood while I submitted myself to her painted majesty.
It shows me the place where a bishop flicked cold water on my face and made me a different kind of Christian — whatever that means.
It shows me in a car with the wheel on the left. On the right. It reminds me I’m in Indiana, Ithaca, New York America, Cambridge, Yorkshire, Northants, Shrops, Herts, N1.
It plays with my timeline, it’s algorithm learning to crack the psyche of those weak-minded people like me (waves) whose grasp on their own identity is always tenuous.
Who the hell am I, anyway.
I want my dog and hillwalking. I’ve not got any.
I’d like a pint, but haven’t got that either.
I’d like mates.
I’d like me. Whichever’s available, whichever’s familiar. I’ll wait here while the algorithm tells
About our hero
Who’s called Zach — and that’s all we can tell
You right now.
“We value your memories.”