Poetry

Sometimes When I’m Lonely…

Sometimes, when I’m lonely,
I google myself.
Yeah, like none of you have ever done it.
We google ourselves to see what we’ve done,
For unless our accomplishments are given
Verification and credence by cyberspace,
They are as ephemeral as yesterday’s memories.
We google ourselves to see if anyone is talking
About us behind our backs,
No doubt to save themselves the embarrassment of
Saying all those great things to our faces.
We google ourselves to see if we’ve done
Something we didn’t even know about—
Maybe somebody shot a YouTube video of us
Doing something really cool without our knowledge
And it’s already got two million hits and we’re famous
And Hollywood has been trying to call but
Our cell phone number is unlisted and by the time
They do reach us the fad will be over
And we’ll have missed our one opportunity to
Capitalize on our greatness.
So many reasons to google ourselves, so little time…

With a last name that means “maker of saddle-trees” in Old English,
I figure it will be relatively easy to find myself.
How many descendants of saddle-tree makers can there be?
It sounds like a specialized and
Not-particularly lucrative profession.
So, imagine my surprise when, right off the bat, I discover
Two Mes more famous than me—
There’s the me who is Rhode Island’s Premier Award-Winning
Recreational Fisherman, with many, many google images of me
Standing next to a trophy with a big fish in my mitts.
There’s also the me who’s the Mormon pastor from England
Who led the groundbreaking study that discovered that while
There are 199,542 varieties of Christmas cards in the world,
Only 1,569 of them have an Image of Our Lord on them,
Less than one-percent, and
What was up with that?
There are scores of me on Facebook,
But I will never know anything about them,
As I absolutely refuse to sign up for it,
Because everybody knows Facebook is what
The government uses to keep track of us.
There are an awful lot of mes and people who might be related to me
In Australia, which seemed odd,
Until I remembered it was a penal colony.

Anyhow, before I become totally discouraged,
I discover a listing that is the Real Me under the heading of something called
A Pipl Profile, spelled p,i,p,l
(As in “pipl who need pipl are the luckiest pipl in there world’?)
There, I find links to sites that all have to do with Me,
Including some stuff from almost twenty years ago
That I didn’t even think existed online,
Because that was before computers were even invented.
“This is amazing,” I think. “Where do they dig up all this stuff.”
By coincidence, there’s an icon right on top titled
“How Did Pipl Get This Information?”
Clicking on it, I discover that the Pipl Profile extracts facts and
Other relevant information from general web documents, personal profiles,
Logs, news articles and other publications using
Natural language processing and statistical analysis through assistance of
Quote Our Deep Search Robot Unquote.
Stop the stagecoach, Curly, this is where I get off—
Deep Search robots?! Geez, these are the guys I was trying to avoid
By not signing up for Facebook.
I saw that movie trailer with Will Smith in it,
I know what happens when the Deep Search Robots show up
At your door. And it’s not going to happen to me.
Acting swiftly, I yank the plug out of the wall socket and for good measure
Rip every connecting wire off the back of the computer,
Smash the hard drive into a million pieces with a ballpeen hammer,
Roll the piano in front of the apartment door,
Run into the bathroom, shut off the lights, and stay there for three days.
(Note to survivalists—the toothpaste that tasted so good when you ate it
when you were five can be just as sustaining for adults.)

But, I came out. I always do.
And I know, sometime soon,
If and when I’m lonely,
I’ll google myself again.
It’s the only way I can be sure
I’m still alive.