Instagram Epigram: This Is Not A Test

Before dining, we snap not-quite-candid shots of our entree, making sure to highlight the jalapeno-pineapple compote. We caps lock and conclude: Yum.

At the beach, we prop up lathered knees and snap photos in front of the salt water backdrop before we dare dive in. We call this one: Mental Health Day.

Last night, I photographed a dead guy.[1] As of an hour ago, seventy-two people had “liked” it on Instagram.

I don’t like to make excuses, but I will. It’s important to understand there were certain factors at play: youth, narcissism, Attention Deficit Disorder. There was something going on with the moon. It was especially bright. There was some science behind it, but I didn’t want to get involved. With the science that is; the moon on the other hand…

Predictably and unremarkably, I got involved with the moon. But eventually, I had to walk home.

On my walk I saw the words, “This Is Not A Test” scrawled on a concrete wall. Beneath the words, a man lay parallel to the sidewalk. I spun around expecting to see an administrator or an audience. I found neither.

The man was wrapped in carpet from the waist up. I couldn’t see his face. Like so many of my peers, there is an unbridgeable chasm between my sense of self and reality. Because of this I decided to take a picture. It would be a memento. It would be construed as deep and conceptual. Teenagers and tastemakers would champion it. Art industry philanthropists—particularly Berliners—would fete me.

After much fame and fortune I would move to academia. I would pontificate about the importance of Shakespeare’s Sonnets[2] and I would eventually renounce the picture that led to the career that bought my home in the Palisades—now that it was paid for in full.

My canvas: A dead man under a freeway overpass. Someone else’s thought “This is not a test.” My announced confirmation.

I walked into the exhibit that I had hoped to simulate. It was not a test, but I still managed to fail. I snapped a picture of a dead man then walked home. I whistled as I walked.

This morning at the coffee shop, I learned a body had been discovered under a nearby freeway overpass. After half a cup of coffee, I thought I better head back to the underpass. Fame and fortune and Instagram followers beckoned. If there was a crime scene—specifically a chalk outline of the corpse—that would make a hell of a picture.

-The Neapolitan Mastiff


[1] The characters and events in this are fictitious. Any similarities to real persons, living or dead, is coincidental and not intended.

[2] Shall I compare thee to June Gloom?

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Filed under De La Moda, Staring Into A Cobalt Pool

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