digital age gothic

It is my birthday. My mother has sent me an animated GIF of a cake with candles and a smiley face. Two new emails, birthday greetings from my dentist and a sushi restaurant in a city I used to live in. 

My rideshare driver tells me he was laid off from a fast food restaurant and is just doing this while he teaches himself web development. Then he offers me a water bottle and a charging cord. Five stars. 

A buzz in my pocket. My fingerprint is not recognized and it takes me a moment to recall the security pattern. In bold letters, my banking app tells me to watch out for suspicious emails. My electricity bill has been automatically deducted.

A stranger on Twitter tells me I am wrong about income inequality. I look up a half-remembered article to support my point. It is behind a paywall. I give up.

I wait for the bus by the light of an LED billboard. An advertisement for toothpaste fades into a QR code I can use to report a homeless encampment to the police department.

The conductor asks to see my ticket. I fumble to increase the brightness of my phone's screen to be scanned. The conductor remarks that my battery is almost dead.

My pocket again. This time breaking news. A celebrity has come out of the closet. A trade deal has been reached. Violence in a far away country. I tap to read more but first, a word from the sponsor.


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