She was enjoying a rare evening in on her own, as he had gone to the pub for a solitary session, to have a drink and a think. She settled onto the sofa with a glass of wine and a novel about a deadly virus, bio-engineered by an alien race who wished to take over the planet.
Halfway through the evening, a sudden recollection hit her - she had intended to let him know about something before he had left, and had forgotten. She picked up her phone with the intention of sending him a text message, but then decided against it - why break his beery reverie with a banal issue? Instead she sent him an email so he could read about it at his own convenience.
She was hit by small wave of nostalgia: only a few months ago, in a similar situation - he at the pub on his own, she at home alone - they would have been exchanging text messages throughout the evening. He would have been telling her about the man in the strange hat sat two tables across from him; about the group of students who hadn't yet learned how to drink; about whatever castles in the sky the two of them had been building at the time. Now she couldn't remember the last time she had received a text message that didn't have a practical purpose. She jeered at herself for being upset about a matter that was pretty insignificant in the grand scale of things, but despite this she couldn't suppress a yearningfor what had been lost.
He came home shortly after closing time.
"Good pub session?"
"Yes, didn't you read my Twitter feed?"
She blinked. The yearning turned into realisation, and then sadness - the intimate text messaging had been replaced by bursts of 140 characters that the whole world could see. She also felt a little affronted at the assumption on his part that she must be hanging onto his every world wide web witticism.
"No, I've been reading."
He sat down next to her on the sofa, mumbled briefly about the suspected conspiracy theorists that had been at the table next to his, and fell asleep.
To the tune of his gentle snoring, she got up from the sofa and sat in front of her PC. She logged onto Twitter and browsed to his account. With no hesitation, she chose to unfollow him. From now on, if he wanted her to know what was going on in his life, he would bloody well have to show her the courtesy of employing the personal touch and telling her himself.
He wouldn't notice, of course, that he had one less follower than he had the previous day. She briefly toyed with the idea of a relevant Facebook status update, but dismissed it with a smile as ridiculous. Instead, maybe she would blog about it, and leave it in the hands of the gods as to whether he would pick up her new blog post in his RSS feeds.
Not All The Time
3 weeks ago