public

Doom Scrolling

I hear the beating of hooves as I scroll lazily on my phone, half awake in the dirty morning light flooding in through my bedroom window. Distant at first, like

4 months ago

Latest Post Doom Scrolling by Edward Shaddow public

I hear the beating of hooves as I scroll lazily on my phone, half awake in the dirty morning light flooding in through my bedroom window. Distant at first, like fat drops of rain against a tin roof heralding in a summer storm, scattered, heavy, with the promise of more to come. Brief snippets of news interrupt a flow of cat photos, memes, and biting satire to talk about viruses, sickness, and quarantine. I scroll past it all, letting the pandemic fade into the distance, like a white horse galloping across a beach at sunset. It’s easy to let it wash over you when it's happening to others far away. I dismiss the notifications from friends that demand my attention at the top of the screen. Close contact. Positive. Isolation. I pull the covers up and shiver as the hoof beats grow, their sounds no longer distant but closer, louder, harder to ignore. I switch feeds and read of supermarket shortages, and interviews with families lamenting the lack of their preferred brand of mayonnaise. Thick black headlines ride on by as I flick my finger idly, letting the shock and awe of it all exist only in brief statements with snappy words designed to draw you in. My head turns towards the window as I hear a rider pull up outside, the snort of his red horse startles me but I turn my attention back to the cold slab in my hands, as the bridle jingles softly and the sound of leather creaks. Short videos fill my mind now; fun dances, relatable stories, and self diagnosis tools all play one after the other as my brain searches for something to motivate it into the day. Soft clicks of hooves on the pavement trot past my window as the rider urges their steed onwards, the sound syncs up perfectly to the cracks of gunfire emanating from a hospital ward halfway around the world. I see faces of people fleeing their homes, others stern and determined as they fill bottles with small white pellets. My heart burns in my chest and I switch apps quickly, wiping away the tears that have begun to catch on my chin. I sink further back into my pillow, holding myself tightly with a free hand as I scroll endlessly with the other. Smiling faces fill the screen as I struggle to distract my mind. It’s harder now as an ashen horse exhales heavily over my head. The smiles hide captions honouring the dead, taken too soon, and so unnecessarily. Looking up I can see all four horses in my small room, their riders are blurs of static, glitching in and out of existence. Laying the cold glass brick against my chest I sigh heavily, closing my eyes trying to get unstuck. When I open them again all are gone, horses, riders, apps. I place my phone on the bedside table and throw back the sheets, ready to start the day.

Edward Shaddow

Published 4 months ago