By: Madeleine Chan, Staff Writer
It started a few months ago, when everything ended. Face-to-face interaction, that is. I thought it was finally over, that I was free from the paralyzing prison of others’ eyes and the mortifying ordeal of being seen. But alas, for me to keep “participating” in society, people have to look at my face.
It was May, and I was in my first class of the semester. All those countless people were constantly staring at me. Those bitchy resting faces . . . my true nightmare. I mean, if I were really digging so desperately for attention, I would have posted an update on the delayed progress of the SUB. But when we all began awkwardly waving our goodbyes at the end of class and I saw the “host has ended the session” message, it was pure relief.
Suddenly, my nerves were replaced with straight butter. But not like that “real” shit — more like the free movie-theatre kind, the kind that dribbles out of the dispenser like apple juice. Sheer indulgence, it was, in the idea that I could now sit in a dark room amongst greasy food while doing nothing but watching YouTube videos on why the world isn’t round.
Ever since that day, I’ve been sending out meeting invitations to chase that runaway feeling. I even changed my social media handles to match my meeting ID. I wait at my computer all day for people to join my call, I turn my camera on, I let them greet me first so I’m hit with that crippling fear of being seen. Wait a second so it really sinks in, then end the call. It’s one big juicy cycle of anxious release that I keep reaping serotonin from like a nervous farmer.
I knew I was obsessed when I realized that I couldn’t stop thinking about that little red button. It’s the only thing that’s providing me some sort of relief now that I can’t blissfully ignore the people trying to get me to join a club in the AQ. It’s gotten so bad that if I see a red button I’ll just press it. Whether it’s on the television remote, an unsaved Word document, or my snooze button, that sucker is going to be slapped.
I have to go now. I have 10 people waiting to join my meeting and I need to get through all of them before they lose their patience and leave again. But please, if you see a meeting ID or a link to join a Zoom call, help a person out and give me your face so I can be free of it.