Caress the Social Media Free Bedroom

21 Feb


by Rhea H. Boyden

Nabokov said: ‘Caress the divine details.’ This is perfect advice for a writer busy at work sculpting a story out of the minutae he sees with a passion. It hadn’t occured to me until now that it is even better advice for lovers. I am working my tongue and hands down the chest of my lover, slowly, kissing and caressing the divine details. Thinking of the similarities between sex and writing is a big turn on for me. In a sense, writing has been my sex the past two years. It has been the thing that has fullfilled me. But now I am breaking my stretch of celibacy and it is divine. I am happy to not be sleeping with my smartphone-my constant companion- for once. I am truly addicted to social media, but when I have a lover in my bed I leave my phone on silent. I turn off my social media when I am writing too. The passionate and all involved act of writing, like sex, is not enhanced in its attention to immediate detail by beeping devices and internet distractions.

My lover returns to me a few days later. We take a photo of ourselves and I ask him if I can post it on Facebook. ‘Absolutely.’ he says with a big smile. We enjoy another night together. He leaves the next day and I post the photo. We look happy together. We have had three fabulous dates and everything is perfect.

‘Wait, did you delete the photo I posted of us from your timeline?’ I ask my lover. ‘I didn’t intentionally delete your photo,’ he tells me. ‘I just have my photos set so that my ‘friends’ can’t post on them without my permission.’ ‘But wait, not to be jealous or anything, but our photo WAS there and it is now gone and there is another photo of you with another girl and she has posted lots of hearts on your photo with her. It’s really none of my business who she is, but I see you are in a lot of photos with her. I also see lots of other photos of you and lots of other people on your timeline. I don’t see why my photo was so offensive especially considering I did ask you if I could post it.’ I say to him, hurt. ‘You shouldn’t read so much into it.’ he tells me. ‘Ok, fine, I will give you the benefit of the doubt, but I hate that Facebook has now caused a rift between us. This is really not the sort of argument people should be having after three lovely dates.’

But Facebook has caused a rift, this cannot be denied. My lover is leaving for another country soon anyway, far, far away so we both knew this romance would be short-lived. But I did not think a spat over social media would be what would cause an argument between us.

I am sitting on the couch with my laptop, reading, writing, googling and waiting for my lover to appear for our fourth date that we are having despite our little upset. Suddenly my internet cuts out. I examine the DSL box and realise that it actually smells of smoke. I still have my smartphone so this is not a disaster. I can easily get my internet fixed. And considering that internet and social media are the thing that caused a problem between my lover and me in the first place, I find it suitably ironic that my internet dies right before he arrives. I see it as a good omen for a nice fourth date without internet getting in the way. The battery on my smartphone is about to die too, and right now I have little will to keep it alive. It can die. Why not?

The following morning I am lying in bed with my lover, caressing and kissing his back and he is typing something into his phone. He puts the phone down and then it beeps again. He picks it up, reads a message, looks irritated and then lies back and closes his eyes. I turn around and withdraw from him. My gadgets are all dead. I am not online. My DSL box went up in a puff of smoke and my smartphone’s battery died hours ago. I get out of bed and march into the living room, abandoning my lover. I get comfortable on the couch and try to read. I love reading real books, snuggled on my couch with a cup of tea. I love taking the time away from the internet. Right now I am not enjoying this moment though, because I am sad. Eventually my lover walks into the room and asks if he can have a shower. ‘You can do whatever you want. I don’t care.’ is my terse response.

He sits down on the couch next to me, looking at me searchingly. He can see that I am upset. ‘What is going on, why are you upset?’ he asks. I just look at him looking at me and eventually the words burst from me. ‘I am sitting out here because clearly you are more interested in texting and emailing in bed than holding me and paying some attention to me.’ I inform him angrily. ‘It just depresses me so much that social media, Facebook, texting and emailing are the things that have caused this argument between us. Can we not just keep the gadgets out of bed?’ I plead with him. ‘My phone is dead, my internet is dead and right now I couldn’t care less about getting them going again. This is all we have.’ I tell him fiercely. ‘These few hours are our last date and then you are leaving and we won’t see each other again. Can we please just enjoy them now?’ He looks at me and says ‘But I am coming back to Europe in a few months and I want to see you then.’ I just look at him and shake my head. He then moves towards me on the couch and stretches himself across the length of my half-clothed body and I embrace him. We hug and caress. I run my hands through his incredible head of hair and down his back. We open up and talk, lying there, holding each other. There are no more beeps from the various devices. At last I feel good and connected in a way all these gadgets fail to connect me. ‘Let’s go back to bed for awhile’. I whisper in my lover’s ear. Remembering Nabokov I caress the divine details once again, with my tongue, with my hands, happy that we have this moment and all the gadgets are silent and removed. For this, right here, really is all we have. This divine moment now.

Bedpost image by Peter Zlatkov

One Response to “Caress the Social Media Free Bedroom”

  1. Angeljewellery February 22, 2014 at 5:39 pm #

    hmmm don’t know what to say really, except, caress the divine moment is all you can actually do under the circumstances xx…

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