No Sense of Time

I’ve been having trouble sleeping lately. My boss has been tossing me back and forth between the day and night shifts at the weld shop during the busy season, so my sense of time has been lost. Light, dark… Day, night… My brain doesn’t even know the difference anymore, not to mention my eyes are already jacked up from constantly looking at my welding arc without the proper PPE, making it even harder to adjust. Most days/nights, when I’m home, I just lie in bed covered in a heap of blankets and deep, deep darkness. The two windows in my bedroom have three layers of tin foil duct taped over them (a trick my dad taught me when I was a kid because he worked the graveyard); I never take them down just in case the boss man puts me back on third shift. It’s a miserable life to live never knowing the time of day, let alone what day of the week it is. I hardly ever leave my room anymore since I work almost thirteen hours a day. I sleep, I wake up, I get dressed in a hurry, I work, I come home, I shower, I sleep, I wake up… You get the picture.

Sometimes, however, I do get up to take a piss since, you know, I’m human, though I’m sure some might say I’ve become part zombie over the past two years. The urge hit me last night, so I got up out of bed and stumbled toward the door. I unlocked it and cracked it open slowly to see if any sunlight leaked in. Nope, nothing. It must’ve been nighttime. Luckily my eyes, damaged as they may be, have grown accustomed to navigating in the dark. Making it from my door, down a small hallway, through the living room, down another small hallway, and to the bathroom blind used to be quite the challenge, but it’s almost muscle memory at this point. Typically, if I’m exhausted (five days out of seven, I’d say), I stumble to the bathroom without issue, take care of business, and stumble back to my bed without even thinking; however, last night, as I said at the beginning, I was restless, so my brain was racing at a hundred miles per hour.

Nights like that are always the worst because I have a tendency to get kind of paranoid. You know when you’re a kid and you’re walking up or down a flight of stairs at night and you feel like someone or something is right behind you, creeping ever so slowly to get you, so you run like the wind to avoid being caught? That’s how I felt last night, maybe not to the point of hauling ass through my house, but enough to make me feel uneasy. My night vision is good enough to where I’d see an intruder before they saw me, but still… I get spooked.

I opened my bedroom door fully and walked through the small hallway, then into the living room. I dodged the couch and coffee table, an easy task since they haven’t moved in over three years. The next hallway, well, it can barely be considered a hallway — it’s more a small, L-shaped corridor with a closet on one side and the bathroom door on the other. I made it to the closet, turned left, and boom, there was the bathroom door. I did it! I made it and nobody murdered me! Always a positive thing, right?

I grabbed the cold knob of the door and pushed. The artificial scent of apple cinnamon hit me in the face as I reached for the light switch. Next came the part I hate most: the initial shock of three sixty-watt light bulbs scorching my already pretty fucked up eyes.

The lights shone brighter than ever, causing me to flinch and tightly shut my eyes for a second. It’s crazy that I can make it all the way across my house in complete blackness, but as soon as the lights come on I’m like a drunk at last call, stumbling and flailing about. It was a straight shot to the toilet from the switch, but somehow I still managed to ram my thigh into the marble corner of the sink. I jerked and slammed into the glass doors of the shower, then bounced across a bit and finally stopped at the toilet. The bathroom is all of fifteen feet from the door to the toilet and I somehow managed to hit everything in the room with my body.

As I stood at the toilet, I observed the silence around me and drew in a breath. The only things I heard were the hard stream of piss hitting the water and the slow drip of water in the shower behind me. It is so quiet in the house that it creeps me out sometimes. I’ve lived alone for quite a while, but when I stop and listen to the nothingness, I can’t help but feel paranoid again. Sometimes when I stand at the toilet with my junk in one hand, I move the window drape aside with the other to take a quick peek outside. My brain always warns me that someone’s pale face might be on the other side of the glass staring at me, yet I still do it. Last night was no exception. I pulled the drape back slowly, moved my face closer to the pane, focused my attention, looked out and…nothing. Just the shed out back and an old, skinny tree beside it. I let go of the drape and finished my business.

I flushed the toilet and stumbled back to the light switch. I kicked the door open all the way with my foot and quickly turned the light off. That’s when the fun began. As you probably know, spending more than two seconds in light at night causes you to go absolutely blind once they’re turned off. What was once an easy task was now one hell of a trip back to my bedroom. I slowly walked out of the bathroom with my arms outstretched. Once I hit the closet door with my hands I knew I was good to turn right to head to the living room. I slowly walked the same path I always walk, using my foot as a sort of cane to help feel for the furniture. A few close calls, but I made it to the other hallway. Another straight shot with no obstacles, I brush both hands on the parallel walls of the hall all the way until I hit the threshold of my bedroom. I pushed open the door…

Another trick my dad taught me when I was young is the quick on-off technique. If you can’t see in the dark and aren’t sure where exactly to walk without stubbing your toes, you turn a light on for about a second, take in your surroundings, and turn it back off. He told me it was something he did in my and my sister’s bedroom when he came home for lunch to tuck us in. The quick flash of light wouldn’t wake us up and he could see where all the toys were on the floor, thus avoiding anything breaking or making noise. I utilize this technique quite often, including last night. I flicked my light switch on for a second, surveyed the room, and flicked it back off. I walked in from the hallway, shut my door, and turned the lock. I stepped to the side and felt the edge of the bed on my calf, then slowly shimmied to the side until I felt my blankets, which is my cue to hop back in.

The bed was just as warm as it was when I left it. I settled in, took a deep breath, and stopped for a second, thanking the gods that I didn’t get shanked by ghosts or robbers yet again. I snagged the blankets from the end of the bed and brought them up to my chin. I rolled over to face the wall and felt my phone rubbing against my rib cage. Of course I no longer felt tired, so I decided to browse Facebook for a bit, maybe check up on some old friends or whatever. Why not, right? I brought the phone up to my face and winced when the bright light pierced my eyes. I thought to myself that I’d never get to sleep. Unfortunately for me, it was not because of my state of restlessness or my crippling social media addiction, it was because of something that I didn’t even see.

When I got up to use the bathroom, my paranoia set in. What if someone was in the house? What if something was watching me in the dark? Of course that’s impossible, but what if?

I suppose I had every right to feel that way.

I didn’t see the tall, lanky man sprawled out on my couch as I passed through the living room. He saw me.

I didn’t see the wet, dark-haired woman peering over the glass doors of my shower as I went to the bathroom. She saw me.

I didn’t see the small child hiding in the corner of my bedroom when I quickly flicked the light on and off. She saw me.

And I certainly didn’t see the wide smile and pitch black eyes of the man directly behind me, even though his pale face was illuminated by the blue light of my smartphone.

But I did feel his breath on my neck.

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Breathing and Other New Difficulties

I’m gonna dive right in here: You’ve more than likely been filled in on my whole situation. I mean, how could you avoid it, right? I won’t shut up about it. “My poor lungs,” I bellyache. “My heart is weak,” I bitch and moan. “I can’t even shower without running out of breath,” I complain. I’m mildly sorry if you constantly hear these things, but as of now I think it’s quite alright for me to worry out loud. Bear with me for a while until either A) I’m a bit more “stable” or “normal” in the coming months or B) one of these pesky clots rushes to my brain while I wait in the checkout line at Walmart. Whichever comes first.

If I die young, bury me in SAVINGS!

“If I die young, bury me in SAVINGS!”

Now, for those of you left in the dark, here’s the deal: On Monday December 21st, I decided to help a friend out during a cleaning spree by taking her trash to the dumpster. I had woken up at around 10:30AM and immediately threw some shoes on, grabbed the full bag by the door, and meandered outside, not a care in the world. Once I was about halfway to the dumpster — which is only about a hundred feet from her building’s exit — I began to feel a bit winded. “You’re just fat,” my brain said. “You need to wake up and get your energy back. No biggie.” So I kept going like nothing was wrong. The problem? There indeed WAS something very wrong. I made it to the dumpster and you’d swear at that point I was taking a break from a marathon. I was out of breath, struggling from one gasp to the next. I dropped the trash bag and tried walking back to the apartment, but my equilibrium was thrown off. My ears were ringing, my vision was blurry, my chest was tight and burning, my whole body went weak. Luckily (if I can say that), I made it to the outside apartment door, where I collapsed just as I put my hand on the knob. I waited on my knees for a few seconds as I gathered myself, then picked my body up and stumbled back into the apartment. I made it to the couch and collapsed, trying my hardest not to freak out. Each breath I took hurt like no other. I wanted to burst out in tears and call the ambulance, but my dumb ass decided it was something that would pass on its own. As I rested, my friend came out and told me to migrate to another spot so she could clean around the couch. “No worries,” I said. “I’m about to leave. Gotta go to the doctor. I’m… I’m not feeling too well.”

“What’s wrong?” she asked.

“I really don’t know.”

“What the fuck do you mean you don’t know? Do you need medicine? What’s wrong?”

“I… Don’t… Know… I’m going to drive myself to the ER.”

Yes, I drove myself in that condition. I don’t know why I thought that was a good idea, but you know me, man. I’m not one to hinder on other people’s lives with my silly problems. You’d be happy to know, however, that I did make it to my destination.

Which, at first, was not the ER.

I'm an idiot.

I’m an idiot.

Being a stubborn bastard really bites me in the ass. See, before I went to the ER I decided to stop off at my friend Chris’s house, where I had been crashing for the weeks prior to this whole ordeal. Making it there wasn’t so bad, but making it to his door was a chore and even after feeling the pain all over again, I still didn’t go to the ER. No, I went inside, lied down on the bed, and thought about what was happening. Heart attack? Maybe. Pneumonia? ‘Tis the season. A debilitating STD? Yeah…OK. Unsure of what to make of all of it, I called my mom. I wanted to let her know what was going on in the event that I passed out and no one was around to find me. Yeah, another golden idea: CALL MOM AND WORRY HER! Once I said all of what I had to say, she told me to quote “get [my] fucking ass to the fucking ER before [she comes] down there and drags [my] ass.” OK, that was just the shove I needed, so I hopped in my car and drove down to the ER at St. Joseph’s on Broadway, less than a mile from Chris’s place.

Fast forward to my ER visit. I told them what was going on, they ran some tests and scans and whatnot, and immediately informed me that I was to be admitted. After hours of waiting, bouncing around, getting a finger shoved in my ass, and wondering what the hell was wrong with me, I finally got to see a doctor. He came in, sat down, and ripped it off like a band-aid when he said, “Charles, you have pulmonary embolism, which means that there is clotting in your lungs’ arteries and their “branches.” Not only do you have a few clots, you have SEVERAL clots. The damage is quite extensive, actually. Because of this, you also have right ventricular failure, meaning the right side of your heart is dangerously weak and is having an awful lot of trouble pumping blood into your lungs. We’re going to keep you here for the foreseeable future until all of this is sorted out.”

Wha– I jus– I’m only 24? HOW in the ever-loving hell am I dealing with a pulmonary embolism and fucking HEART FAILURE? They checked my legs for any evidence of deep vein thrombosis. Nothing. Nada. They hooked me up to machines, did some Doppler ultrasounds, checked on my heart some more and were baffled when they couldn’t give me a proper answer. These professionals have no idea how or why I have a sh’load of clots in my lungs. The answer they did give me was that I drew the short straw in the genetic lottery and am just an unlucky son of a bitch.

“Thanks for letting me know.”

After eight days of constant blood work, tests, scans, x-rays, etc, that’s as far as we’ve gotten. Seriously. The good-ish news is that I have to follow up with all of this every week for the rest of eternity, so odds are they’ll find out exactly what’s wrong with me eventually. I have to set up an appointment with a hematologist soon because apparently I might have a shitty blood disorder that’s causing my blood to clot up for no real reason other than being diseased. For the time being, I’m on a blood thinner that needs to be closely monitored for the rest of my life and a blood pressure medication that’s helping me not stroke out.

YEAH! MEDICINE!

YEAH! MEDICINE!

The point of this blog, other than to share my story for those who are unaware, is to let you all know that it’s gonna be a while before I’m back to being the old me. My whole life has been put on hold and everything I’ve worked at for the past few months of my life is now on the back burner. I can’t drive long distances. I can’t work until I know my body’s limitations. I can’t drink alcohol. I can’t smoke. I can’t eat leafy greens or other Vitamin K rich foods (this one’s not so bad). I can’t stand up for too long without getting winded. I can’t sit for too long without running the risk of getting another clot or pushing an existing one through my body. I can’t… Well, there’s a lot I can’t do. It’s really doing a number on my mental health right now. I don’t get to hang out with my friends as much anymore. I don’t have a way to spend time with the girl I was hanging out with at the time of the incident. For all intents and purposes, I’m a bruised, sad sack of sickness, loneliness, and helplessness right now as I try to acclimate to this new development. For once in my life, I’m feeling sorry for myself because, for once in my life, I have no idea what I’m doing. Zero percent. There’s not even a shred of life confidence right now.

Life is different.

And I’m scared.

This all being said, I’m trying to at least keep my humor about me. Every time I bring up this predicament or my overall health in a joking manner, please don’t see it as me being pessimistic. While my optimism is not what it used to be, my humor — no matter how dark — is what’s keeping me sane and happy. When a doctor gives you a list of different ways an illness could potentially kill you, you have to find a way to make each day a little easier, to take your mind off of all the negative. Do I think I’ll croak any time soon? I hope not. With a huge change in my lifestyle, I suppose I could someday find some semblance of normalcy in this fucked up situation. The fact of the matter is, however, that these clots aren’t all going to go away. Some will be broken down by my body naturally, but with the sheer amount that are in my lungs, there’s no guarantee they’ll all go away. Does that spell out certain death? ABSOLUTELY NOT.

I’m just saying we should name them all and start betting on which one will bust out of the gate first and race to the finish line in my head.

I’m just kidding! You really think I’m gonna let you get rid of me that easily? Forget about it!

That’s it. That’s all I’ve got. Before I go, I wanna ship out a big THANK YOU to everyone who has helped me through all of this, whether it be monetarily, morally, spiritually, whatever. I have quite an awesome support system that continues to make me feel better each and every day. Much love to you all!

And thanks for reading, you rascals. I’m gonna go count my bruises.

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IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO DONATE TO MY GOFUNDME TO HELP WITH THE COSTS OF ALL OF THIS, PLEASE GO HERE:

>>> CHARLIE’S POST-HOSPITAL COSTS <<<

Severed Ties or: How I Stopped Letting Petty Stuff Weigh on Me and Learned to Tolerate Everyone

I was not planning on writing anything tonight, but stuff has been weighing on my mind a lot lately, especially after trying to plan a party/get-together with all of my friends. See, this task has proven to be impossible due to the volume of “if X goes then Y refuses to go” complaints I’ve been getting already. “If A shows up then B will leave.” It’s fucking exhausting, and here’s why…

The amount of effort I’ve put into getting people together in the past is astounding and the amount I put into it now is equally as impressive, even though I’m arguably the “friend” who can DO the least. Charlie — the guy who historically has had no money; the guy who got fucked financially and mentally all the way out of college; the guy who has spent countless days locked in a dark room, crying, wondering what the point of life even is; the guy who doesn’t even have a car right now; the guy who has spent quite a length of time bouncing from place to place; the guy that hasn’t even lived in the same house for an entire year of his life…EVER! — is the one trying to maintain a sense of friendliness in a world full of petty fights and broken relationships.

BEAR WITH ME!! The depressing stuff is almost over!

BEAR WITH ME!! The depressing stuff is almost over!

What’s the point of all of this bitching, you may be asking? My point is this: If I can find a way to be friends with everyone, then how is it that some people in my life (some people who have known each other longer than they have known me) can drift apart? How can relationships just end *snap* like that? It’s tragic, really. Most of these relationships ended abruptly over either A) a bullshit fight that has since blown over entirely or B) an accumulation of petty grievances that for some reason have become grounds for friendship termination. It’s not right. I’m one of the most misanthropic, cynical, asshole-ish people I know and even I can sweep shit under the rug and find the good in people, regardless of how much I want to punch them in the nose on occasion. It’s really not that difficult. My stomach twists and turns when I think about how these old relationships and how much was thrown away over such trivialities.

KEEP READING!! The sad sack stuff comes to an end soon enough!

KEEP READING!! The sad junk comes to an end soon enough!

Having said all of this, you may be trying to turn the tables and think of times when I’ve cut it off with supposed friends and you’d probably be able to come up with several people. KNOW THIS: I have never, ever stopped caring for anyone over something so little. I have never, ever loathed someone’s existence because I think they have done me wrong. I have never, ever blocked someone from my mind because of things like little white lies, girl problems, things said out of anger, etc. It is true that I have, however, made myself distant from some old friends. I have gotten upset at myself and gone through bouts of depression, during which I tried to erase everyone from my life by deleting all traces of them. I have most likely hurt several people by being there one minute and disappearing the next.

I have also made my amends. I have had time to think about these things, talk them over, iron it all out, and come to my senses because that’s what people do. That’s called taking responsibility. That’s called understanding. That’s called trying.

You’ve gotta take into account that I understand that not everyone is meant to be friends with each other. I know that being all hunky-dory with everyone you used to be friends with may just not be in the cards and hey, that’s fine; no one’s loss if it’s a mutual thing. Hell, I’d be cool if people could just be civil with one another, bury the hatchet temporarily, and let bygones be bygones for a few. But to completely shoot down all attempts of at least talking it through with one another and lie to yourself and others about why it all fell through between the parties involved, that’s just wrong. That’s just foolish.

So, in a way, this blog post is one part an apology on my behalf, one part a boot to the ass of anyone who’s currently fighting a similar battle, and one part a think piece for anyone wondering why the fuck things can’t go back to the way they once were.

I’m pulling for you.

Group hug.

Sorry I lied to you.

Sorry I lied to you.

I Don’t Want to Date Your Fat Friends

I woke up this morning and looked in the mirror, just as most others do before moving onto their daily routine, and do you know what I saw?

"I dunno, something like this?"

“I dunno, something like this?”

A fat guy. He gazed back at me, the mustard stains of yesteryear still staining his bulbous lips, the crumbs of pastries past still trailing down his abnormally large shirt. He stared into my soul and reminded me of what a gelatinous blob I currently am. Yet even after having a Mexican stare-down with this late-Elvis-looking sack of bones, this walking, talking gravy time bomb, we both agreed, telepathically, that we want nothing to do with your fat friend. We don’t want to meet her. We don’t want to hang out with her. We don’t want to fuck her. So please…PLEASE…stop asking.

One too many times, folks, has someone told me, “Oh boy, Charlie, boy oh boy do I have the girl for you! I think you’re really gonna like her!” And ten times out of ten — that’s 100% of the time, in case you’re not an ESPN sports analyst or something — it’s their fat friend. And ten times out of ten — again, 100% — that poor girl has nothing in common with me other than her dangerous love for all things carbohydrate. This, to me, means you and your friends (and possibly my friends) have had a discussion that went something like:

“Charlie’s a great boy, probably one of the best. I want to hook him up with someone.”

“Really? Who? The one with the tattoos and impeccable music taste?”

“No no no, not her.”

“The one who’s really good at movie trivia?”

“Her? No way! Even better.”

“Then who?”

“Agatha!”

“Wait, who’s she?”

“She’s the, well, she’s the really nice one.”

“Oh yeah! Charlie loves nice girls. They’re his favorite. Let’s do it.”

And then they contacted ol’ Agatha and asked her if she’d like to hang out with this “really sweet guy” named Charlie.

She was SMITTEN by that idea.

She was SMITTEN by the idea.

This is where the problems begin. You see, there are code words being used here that are only present to fill in derogatory comments, like “really sweet guy” standing in for “morbidly obese gentleman,” “great boy” masking “chubby sumbitch,” or the “really nice one” filling in for “hefty girl who won the blue ribbon in 4-H two years in a row.” And you know what, that’s fine. Maybe you really do think I’m a sweet guy. Maybe Agatha really is a very nice person. That’s awesome! Good on ya for being an observant friend on the shallowest level possible. What you do not seem to understand is that not all fat people want to be together. Fat people can have standards. Fat people can have types. Fat people can even desire to date only the sexiest people alive. Holy shit, ain’t that some CNN missing plane level news? Sometimes, two fat people being together just won’t work. Like, physically. Trust me on this one, it wouldn’t be pretty.

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See, if you know me, you’ll know I have a thing for women with tattoos and an attitude, women who don’t mind blasting Lamb of God on the way to the store at night, women who can keep up with my fucked up humor and spit out her own. That’s my ideal woman. Even beyond all of that, even with all of those ideal traits pushed aside, I, like everyone else on the planet, have a set of things I look for in a partner. May she be skinny, fat, short, tall, white, black, purple, cyborg, whatever, I look for personality traits before I look at anything else. Trust me, I’m not someone who’s looking to dip my wick in anything with a pulse. When I fall for someone, I fall for how compatible their personality is with my own and how well we’ll get along in all aspects of life. I don’t want to date the Agathas of the world because I may not be interested in them, not because of her weight mind you, but because after learning more about her from other people, I learned she’s a church-going, Bieber-loving horse owner with dreams of good morning texts and lots of princess-like spoiling. Me on the other hand, I like watching a shit ton of foreign horror movies, drinking Jägermeister mixed with Dr. Pepper, and am a bit of a misanthropic, cynical masochist with a penchant for dark humor. If all of that means I’ll be alone forever, then so be it. Don’t expect me to lower the bar just so I can be with a woman. What would Agatha want me for? Oh, right, because we’re both overweight. Do us both a favor and actually learn about us before trying to hook us up. That is unless you want me start hooking you up with other shallow assholes who like to jump to conclusions about their fat friends.

Parents Furious Over “Breaking Bad” Action Figures at Toys R Us, Fight to Replace Them With Child-friendly Alternative

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October 20, 2014

Fort Myers, FL — Popular children’s store Toys R Us is currently under fire for selling toys inspired by the classic television drama, Breaking Bad.  The program, off-air since its series finale on September 29, 2013, is about a suburban chemistry teacher who is diagnosed with terminal cancer and turns to selling meth to raise money for his family. Parents all over the United States are fuming over the products, stating that selling them teaches children that selling drugs could someday result in getting an action figure modeled after them. “I am OK with my son playing with just about anything,” says Martha Stanhope of Buckingham, “but I will not allow him to have these toys in his room EVER. This show promotes nothing but drugs, violence, and greed. I am disgusted with Toys R Us and will not be shopping there for Christmas this year.”

After hearing testimonies from disgruntled moms like Stanhope, store spokesperson Randall P. Newcastle made the following statement:

“The line of toys for Breaking Bad is clearly in bad taste and we at Toys R Us are in talks with Mezco Toyz to get them pulled off of our shelves. Our decision to order the Heisenberg figures took much deliberation and though we ultimately decided it would be a wise business move, the backlash we have received has made us realize that we were sorely mistaken. Once these toys are removed, we are proud to announce that we have ordered thousands of this year’s hottest toys as replacements: The Leah Messer Mommy and Me! Play-set, sponsored and distributed by MTV’s Teen Mom 2! We hope these will be our best-sellers this holiday season. Our sincerest apologies to the unhappy customers and please keep an eye out for our new line of toys in the coming weeks.”

So far, response to this news has been received well among shoppers. “I can’t wait to get my daughter this Teen Mom toy! She loves watching Leah on TV. This is a giant leap away from that filth they were selling before,” Jo Ann Caldwell said with a cart full of pink boxes. One man we talked to seemed to have no idea about the Breaking Bad controversy or the new Teen Mom toys. “This decision doesn’t affect me much,” Johnny Porter admitted. “I’m just here to get my son this cool American History X Lego set.”

Shoppers can find the Mommy and Me! Play Set at any Toys R Us location, between Playmobil’s Bank Robber and Getaway Car and Tesco’s Peek-a-Boo Stripper Pole.

Ten-Year-Old Boy Confused as to Why There is No Evidence of His Childhood Anywhere

October 17, 2024 – Eau Claire, WI

Peeta Cullen Rosenbaum, a ten-year-old boy from just outside Altoona, has recently made it public that he’s on a mission to find any pictures or videos of himself as an infant after claiming that he’s never seen a single one. “I always found it weird that, not even on my mom’s computer, there are no signs of me,” Peeta said, holding back tears. “All of the other kids at school have flash drives of pictures and videos of themselves when they were babies and I don’t. I just don’t understand why.”

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Pictured: Peeta Rosenbaum desperately scours the cloud in search of any records of his infancy.

Peeta’s mother, Stacy Carter, who separated from the boy’s father in 2016 after they graduated from Memorial High School, has avoided the discussion for some time. When asked why there seems to be no record that her son was ever younger than ten, she sorrowfully confessed, “There was an iPhone app that was popular when he was born called Snapchat. Remember that? Every picture and video I took was on that. All of my friends have seen videos of his first steps and birthday parties, but those went away after five seconds!” Stacy then broke down sobbing, calling herself a “terrible person.”

Snapchat's logo was a ghost, an appropriate image since sent messages seemed to disappear into thin air.

Snapchat’s logo was a ghost, an appropriate image since sent messages seemed to disappear into thin air.

Snapchat — a private photo and video messaging app — was released in 2011 as a way for people, predominantly teenagers, to share quick snapshots and brief videos with one another. Reggie Brown and Josh Meyers, the original developers of the application, have released several statements about the usage of Snapchat, including, “Aside from the nude picture here and the duck face there, our app was often used as a way for people to share countless images and videos of their ‘cute’ kids. We have never promoted Snapchat as an alternative to traditional cameras.” Snapchat was removed from app stores in 2017 after several civil lawsuits involving concerned parents of “sexting” teens.

Most individuals who grew up with the application knew it wasn’t meant to be a camera replacement. With the many other apps available at the time — apps like Google Drive, iCloud, Dropbox, etc — having no photographic evidence of a child’s first steps seems absurd. For Stacy Carter and countless others, however, this is not the case, and poor children like Peeta Rosenbaum have to live with the fact that their childhood disappeared five seconds at a time.