She posted a link to an essay about people that feel invisible. She toyed with the possibility of her own invisibility without committing to it. The words were not her own but they sounded vehement in that professional tone she admired when overhearing in elevators and at yoga circles. At 3:43 pm, one person liked it. Then another. Then five. She counted the likes and felt terrible. So she posted an affirmation for introverts. An extrovert did not like it. The extrovert (soon joined by another less outspoken extrovert) left a comment that expressed her distaste for self-pitying introverts with middling social skills. She read the comment aloud and paused. Should she reply? The extroverted commenter had a strong point. The commenter’s anger was stronger than the post’s original, second-hand loneliness. Since her husband was an extrovert, she asked his opinion. He said what do you expect from a showboat like Facebook? He had a point. Two points became a line leading back to high school. She cherished and despised high school, her husband reminded. And besides, didn’t the commenter’s sudden anger prove she wasn’t invisible? Wasn’t she happier now that she knew she had been seen?
Alina Stefanescu was born in Romania and lives in Alabama with her partner and four small mammals. A Pushcart nominee, she has pieces recently coming or forthcoming in various journals, including NANOFiction, VOLT, Pilgrimage, Flock, Split Lip Magazine, DIAGRAM, and others. Her first fiction collection, ‘Every Mask I Tried On’, won the Brighthorse Books Prize. She can’t wait for you to read it. More online at www.alinastefanescu.com or @aliner