My vessel of joy. Full of shiny pearls. Ephemeral. Essential.

Tightly gripped. Gripping me. Tethers me to it. It to me. Slave and enslaved. Who is submissive? Switch. Who is dominant?

Switched on. Turned on. Sucked in. Sucking energy. Wasting children. Wasting resources. Wasting time.

Swoosh. Tantalising tiny bird draws me in. Bright blue. Tempting a burst of profanity. A thread of hilarity. Fragments of fun. Skim through life.

Hover over icon. Delete.

Photos adapted. Messages misread. Maps to guide. Follow my every step. Delete.

Fingertips find truths and find lies. Indistinguishable. Misled and misdirected. Delete.

Innocuous f hides hegemony. Long lost families found. Supreme. Sense of self-worth eroded. Sinister.  Like. Not. Take the thumb. Swipe it away. Gone. Not forgotten. Discussed. Did you see? No. I stopped. Deleted.

Time methodically fractured. Chopped and chopped again. Fragments of fragments. Hurriedly pieced together. A patchwork life.

Delete, delete, delete. Extricate the extraneous. Remove the unnecessary. Rid myself of pretty distractions.

Perfectly adequate communications device remains.

Droplets of time expand and form a puddle. The puddles join up and form a pool and then the pool becomes a lake. My life has depth and soul. It becomes whole and wholesome because I can think and I can explore. I look up and see the clouds and then I look to the horizon across the lapping waves of the ocean. I can smell the people around me, their human fragrance and I can taste the fresh breeze with its scents of grass and soil. I can breathe long and deep and ponder with no end point in mind. Roaming among the rich tapestry of a world free from curation, my edges no longer feel blurred or compromised by a never-ending deluge of information. Instead they are solid and a container for the knowledge and wisdom that can take root and grow in the fertile ground that is now me. I am alive and I am satisfied that I will become the best I can become, not a pale imitation or woeful comparison of the combination of the supposedly best parts of everyone else. The pearls are within me. I have arrived at my beginning.

Stephen Oram