Stalking Thandiswa

by Clarissa Cummings

I’m a sucker for intense relationships with people who have no fucking idea I even exist. Since the advent of online social holes like Twitter and Facebook, my phantom connections and passive-emotional steez have skyrocketed. And I’m not complaining.  I’ve been enthralled in some of the most fulfilling 15 minutes of non-committal, pseudo relationships.  All types of relationships.  I’ve become a serial cyber best friend, lover, intellectual companion and enemy; all with strangers I meet scrolling through the profiles of people too narcissistic or too overwhelmed by account settings to lock their profiles.   From my sofa, with a white boy between fingers, I’ve gone through births, sometimes twice in one sitting, the deaths of aunts over 100, strings of Deepak Chopra quotes and the heartbreaking switch from “in committed relationship” to “it’s complicated.”  I’ve cried, I’ve laughed, I’ve filled my voyeur heart with status update quarrels that tend to end with “If you don’t like it, get off my page!”  This might sound like the laziest and distant of all human connections, but just as I don’t fall in love with every man who has stroked my thigh, I have not fallen for every stranger that’s stroked out a good tweet or two.  Mostly, these relationships last for no more than the time it takes to scroll through the home page without having to hit “older posts”.   But every once in awhile there comes a pseudo-relationship worth holding onto.

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