350 words, on the dot (if you don’t count my byline). Inspired by true events, as the kids say. Enjoy.
The Facebook Excuse – by Dara Naraghi
“How the hell does this guy ever get any work done?”
I felt compelled to elaborate on my outburst when she put her book down and looked over at me, her beautiful face framed by her reading glasses.
“It’s this writer I’m friends with on Facebook. Well, not really friends. I don’t even know him. He friended me and I accepted. I don’t even know why, I probably just–”
She cut me off with a simple raised eyebrow, as if to say ‘your point?’
“So this guy posts stuff all the time. And not clever stuff. Not ‘writerly’ stuff. No, it’s the same stupid shit everyone else posts on Facebook: pictures of his cat, or what he’s watching on TV.” I turned my laptop to face her, in a desperate attempt to justify my outrage. “Look at his wall: posted 12 minutes ago, 30 minutes ago, 1 hour ago. It’s nonstop.”
Her reply was terse, but sincere. “So? Why do you care?”
I suddenly felt defensive, like a child called out on his misbehavior, trying to save face.
“I don’t,” I replied. “I’m just saying…it’s just that this guy self-publishes books and short story collections, on top of having a day job, and I don’t understand how he gets any work done when he’s on Facebook 24/7.”
She let me finish my rant, patient yet unmoved.
“Weren’t you working on your script?”
“I was. I mean, I am. I just took a little break and saw this asshole was at it again.”
“OK, I understand it’s frustrating,” she offered. “But we both know the answer’s simple: unfriend him, and direct your energy back to your own work.”
I felt my lips part, as if to argue, but instead they curled into an appreciative smile. She responded with one of her own, accented with a wink, before returning to her book.
As I went back to my writing, I tried not to think about all the time I’d wasted obsessing needlessly over some stranger.
Instead, I thought about how damn cute she looked with her reading glasses.