Gregory Fuentes Presents “Because the Internet”
The following is a collection of short stories and reactions to a well-loved album. This should be read for entertainment and inspiration purposes. Some of the events described may be challenging to read but rest assure, nothing is fiction. Each song and their subsequent orders do not need to be listened to before reading in order to understand the context. I do recommend actually listening to Because the Internet at some point, up to you. It just makes things easier. Credit to Donald Glover, The Boy, a.k.a. Childish Gambino.
Just give me some time…
Welcome. Please stay a while. I’m already nervous, so I count up to eight quietly to myself. I like the number 8 since it also means infinity. The knowledge is here waiting for you. Almost all of it…
Who am I? Welcome to the Album! Many great works of art start somewhere. This one happens to start like the day would start for the typical person; waking up, eating breakfast, and making plans for the day while thinking about the ones before today. Today we are going to take care of ourselves and make today productive. Let’s be real, no one has the exact same morning routine. That’s what makes this work in a word, timeless. Don’t worry if things aren’t perfect, I mean, nothing really is and that distracts from finishing things. It’s a new morning. *I look around the house and no one else is here. *
Have you ever wanted to be famous? Don’t answer that. If you’re reading this, I already know the answer. So why wait? Take your time and remember you don’t have any to waste. Money can only satisfy you for so long, it is purpose that gives you real happiness. Love is—what is it anyways? Let’s just… put a pin in that.
Thank you for subscribing. We are connecting you to your call. *numbers to follow*
“I. The Worst Guys”
All she needed was some…what? Every girl is different. If you didn’t know that already. Most of the ones I’ve met are so cool but there’s always that one in the back of your thoughts. Not really “lurking” because that’s a weird word. More like at home. Maybe this one is who you come back to. As I get to the beach and finish putting on my wetsuit, I have this crazy thought. Maybe it won’t have to end if you tell her the truth and leave nothing to Chance.
This is the part they don’t tell you about. On the floor once again. Not really feeling anything in particular, especially not feeling interesting. My minds in the past right now. It’s deep into Tuesday night.
“III. Telegraph Ave. (“Oakland” by Lloyd)”
Here we go again. Hopefully this relationship is better than the last. Play it cool and just treat her like a human being. Like that’s even hard to do. Do you smell good? Check. Made the reservation? Check. Feel good? Absolutely. You staying here for a while? Every chance I get.
Battle anthem. Dinner. Let’s get drunk. Self-empowered times are the best. Remember your manners dude. Bragging is ok sometimes, especially if you’re winning. Just don’t be surprised if people copy you. Beware of smiling faces. Not everyone has your well-being in mind.
A number? A date? A year? A person? It doesn’t matter. We all have one. Just hold up a sec and enjoy the essence of the moment, no matter what you say or what they do.
“Playing Around Before the Party Starts”
The eve of the celebration. Probably the quietest time of the night. Don’t get too carried away at this time.
“I. The Party”
You’re here. Have fun. Drink something. Take something. Meet someone. Be someone. Don’t leave. Never leave.
“II. No Exit”
“Please leave a message after the *beep*.” The bad times are more memorable than the good ones. This is the deal you signed up for. Don’t go. I’m a mess.
“Death By Numbers”
Wh4t$ 7h3 u$3? Y0u c4n’7 74k3 17 w175 y0u.
“I. Flight of the Navigator”
It’s 12:30 pm on a Thursday. The last week of my summer classes. My season is barely half over and I still float on the same feeling I did since the spring. Before I get too ahead of myself, the ambient light of the meditation room is exactly what I needed today. No one else is here. Nobody is really around for that matter. Campus is pretty dry around this time. I take a blue yoga mat from the wall rack behind me and lay it on the floor. My shoes come off too. Feels good to be barefoot, alone, and drinking my coffee. I take a seat and find a song I like. I usually do it this way: 20 minutes of my headphones in with no music playing and the last 10 playing something that’s suitable, after I make a quick post to my story. The silence is really nice. I use this time to clear my pilling thoughts and just focus on breathing. I don’t really do this unless I’m stressed, which lately has been every day. Today I thought about a lot of things. I have what you would describe as a brain that runs faster than my hands can write or my mouth could ever speak. Thoughts come and go way too quickly. Sometimes when I think of something really clever, I take out my phone to write it down. Lately though, these haven’t been clever in a positive kind of way. It’s not like I’m really, really sad. It’s not like I haven’t been myself at all. I’m not quiet when I’m out in public or distant with my fam. I sleep fine, food tastes the same, and I couldn’t be better. Good thoughts, kind words, good lord… As a matter of fact, I have just the right thing for the last 10 minutes. *press play and close your eyes* What’s it called when you feel like your soul has left its mortal body? I looked it up: dissociation. A self-defense mechanism for dealing with things. Thoughts, reality, and even your own body begin to just kinda get lost. The mat underneath me might as well be 100 miles away. Sometimes I wonder what’s more fulfilling, a stroller and car seat or two dogs? Obviously, I need one constant for both to happen. Something pretty I can see myself with. If it feels right, it feels right. I don’t know. I don’t think anyone does. I just fulfill myself in any way I can these days. By myself, for now. I just realized what pleasing others and forgetting about yourself feels like. Falling off a bridge and singing happy birthday on the way down. Sometimes though we fall for the right reasons. The right people. Looking at the big picture, maybe Icarus flew too close to the sun because he couldn’t live with being on the ground anymore. I don’t know what his life was before the wings, but I know he wouldn’t be the same after landing back to earth. The boy would try anything to get that feeling back. The feeling of flying through the air; to be free of all his walls. To hold the precious things closer while he navigates the fear of being left al l a l o n e. *timer goes off, open your eyes* My phone wanted to shuffle the next song, but I have to get to my class. I finish my coffee as I put my shoes back on with one hand. After I put the rolled up blue mat away, I take a deep breath. Tears are wiped away as I find the next song and leave the room.
“II. Zealots of Stockholm [Free Information]”
EXT. PARKING LOT EARLIER THIS YEAR – EVENING
Look, do you understand yet? Is all this too much for you? The good thoughts and bad thoughts I mean. I don’t really know anyone that also knows me. Lol. I know THAT didn’t make sense to everyone. Anyway, I’m kinda just floating through the parking lot looking for my car. The sun is starting to set as I get off the shuttle and walk past the rows of shiny metal reflections. Some are driving past me, interrupting the sounds of insects with their engines. I catch the smell of a pipe somewhere while I rummage for my keys. Something I’ve smelled too many times at parties or whatever. Somebody’s always on a drug these days. What did Nancy Reagan once used to say? Those three little words, heh. Its funny how you can say so much with only three words. I love you. I hate you. Who are you? I’m not going to pretend that I’m not on something myself. Everything feels good the first time you try it. Then what happens when that something is gone? Withdrawal. You find a new outlet for coping. Maybe it works, maybe it just doesn’t. Then relapse. With that new feeling of wanting more comes what’s called grief. Brace yourself because yes its about time for a refresher on that. The modified Kubler-Ross Model of the seven stages are identified as: shock, denial, anger, bargaining, depression, testing, and acceptance. You learn something every day. Only this isn’t an educational seminar. This is my walk back to my car and I’ve just now finally found it. I have an important phone call to make once I’m inside. Personal business. I climb in and turn the ignition with a slight smile.
The only permanent setback in life is death.
“I. Pink Toes”
This is the best I’ve felt in a really long time. We are together at last. Sharing the same space, the same air, and the same memories. This is the epitome of happiness. A purpose shared with somebody else. Is this what prom was like? How long does this kind of thing typically last? I know this for sure; the goal isn’t to win the game, it’s to stay in it as long as you can.
“II. Earth: The Oldest Computer (The Last Night)”
Word travels almost instantly. Everyone knows every little thing about everyone else. Music, pictures, stories, reviews, aspirations, and thoughts. So much all the time and barely any attention left. I’m surrounded by this and ill bet you are too. The solution? If you have one feel free to let me know. I didn’t make this world; I just live in it.
“III. Life: The Biggest Troll [Andrew Auerenheimer]”
Thank you to the readers and listeners. I hope you were mildly interested rather than satisfied. The idea was to comfort those like me and disturb the comfortable. Thanks Banksy. If I didn’t well, there will be more chances, I think. Being introspective is what I’m good at. It's all I’ve been on lately… now everyone already knows because I told them.