Kate uploaded a photo of herself with a handsome man. They were riding camels through the desert. “That’s Christopher,” she typed. “A week after this photo was taken, he died tragically on a boat in Ibiza.”
The post racked up a lot of notes. “God,” said one of the comments, “That’s rough. You guys look really in love.”
“Yes,” replied Kate, “we were in love. I wish I could have stayed on that camel forever, but I had to fly home. I thought I had more important things to do. I was wrong. After he died, his mother found an engagement ring in his underwear drawer.”
“Stop! This is too sad!” said a comment underneath Kate’s.
“I wish I could stop,” wrote Kate, “but Instagram is all I have to remember him by now.”
“That’s not really true,” read another comment. “You could remember him in your head.”
“And I do,” spat Kate. “Every day.”
“I feel depressed,” someone responded. “I feel like looking at this photo has taken a crap on my day.”
“As it should,” Kate wrote. “Every moment is a blessing and you should treasure it. I’m reminding you to do that.”
“Not really,” typed the next person. “That would be more, like, a photo of a newborn baby or a sunrise with no filter.”
“BTW, what filter is this?” asked someone. “I can see the guy’s ghost behind the camel.”
Kate squinted at the photo. There was indeed a ghost crouching behind one of the camels. The ghost was wearing Wayfarers and appeared to be giving the camera the finger.
“I don’t see a ghost,” lied Kate. “If you guys don’t stop, I’m taking this down. You’re disrespecting Christopher’s memory.”
“I want a ghost filter!” said another commenter. “I want to see my grandfather again!”
Kate felt that her intentions had been derailed. She removed the photo and refreshed the page, but the photo was still there at the top of her timeline.
“Nobody say anything,” said Kate, “everyone cry in private.”
“That cloud above the lady’s head looks like a cow fellating another cow,” wrote a commenter. “Or is that just me?”
Kate inspected the photograph. How had she not noticed that.
“Stop looking at my personal artifact,” commanded Kate. “Someone else post something and move mine down. Do it now.”
“I hate to draw attention to this,” commented another person, “but if you get a magnifying glass, you can see that one of the camels has a mouth full of eyeballs.”
Kate, furious, picked up her magnifying glass and looked at one of the camel’s mouths. It was closed. She was relieved. She looked at the other camel’s mouth through her lens and saw a mouth full of eyeballs. She threw her magnifying glass across the room, where it broke a mirror and ricocheted, knocking her on the back of the head. It was painful and would leave a hideous lump that would detract from her ponytail.
Kate uploaded a photo of her lunch. It was a tuna salad sandwich, but she posted it anyway. “Here,” she wrote, “Have at this.”
The picture appeared. The bread had been toasted, and its brown marks read RIP CHRISTOPHER.
“Look at that,” someone commented, “Do you see how the extra-brown parts say STOP HER?”
“Stop her? Oh my God. Do you think that’s a message from the dead boyfriend?”
Kate was sweating.
“He died on a boat in Ibiza,” wrote Kate, “On a boat in Ibiza. I was in Phoenix at the time.”
“Whoa,” wrote another person, “I might be crazy, but do you guys by any chance think that the little bits of celery and onion on the sandwich’s periphery almost look like the Greek alphabet spelling out MURDERER?”
Kate panicked and deleted her Instagram. She went onto the porch to smoke a Benson & Hedges and chew a Quaalude. Someone still had their Christmas decorations out across the street, and a pair of cats was dancing underneath an inflatable Santa Claus. Kate reached for her phone to take a picture, then put it away. One of the cats picked up a glow stick and started waving it in a complicated formation while the other cat whistled and threw coins. Kate remarked to the empty porch, “Would you get a load of that?” Nobody heard her. The cats packed up their glow sticks and money and went home, never to appear again.