Refreshing isn’t always refreshing

I’m working late while it is happening. Oblivious, I get on the train, take out my phone, and look at my Twitter feed.

Refresh. Refresh. Refresh.

People are saying that TV news wasn’t covering it. That seems horribly wrong but okay for me since I only have my phone.

Refresh. Refresh. Refresh.

There are pictures. Frightening images just a couple of states away. Protesters angry and scared. Police armored and armed. Clouds of tear gas.

Refresh. Refresh. Refresh.

I get home and keep looking. Video feeds down. Journalists detained.

Refresh. Refresh. Refresh.

I share with trepidation. I want to amplify, but I don’t want to misinform. Is everything I’m seeing true?

Refresh. Refresh. Refresh.

I lie awake in bed looking at the tweets. Wishing they weren’t real. Wishing they were a modern “War of the Worlds” type hoax.

Refresh. Refresh. Refresh.

I refresh, but what I really want to do is rewind. To go back to before police on the scene, before protests. I want to rewind farther still to before an unarmed boy was shot and killed.

Refresh. Refresh. Refresh.

It’s late. I should sleep. I need sleep, but I keep looking. Hoping for an all clear. Hoping that everything is suddenly okay.

Refresh. Refresh. Refresh.

Tweets echo each other. Nothing new under the moon. I put my phone on the bedstand, turn out the light, and try to sleep.

Turn. Turn. Turn.

I can’t sleep. I’m too restless. It’s been an hour. I look at my phone again.

Refresh. Refresh. Refresh.

It’s still there.

Refresh. Refresh. Refresh.

It’s still happening.

Refreshing isn’t always refreshing.

*   *    *    *

And Fiction Friday isn’t always fictional.

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