They tell me that my new job is to chisel a deep and lasting crack into the foundation of American democracy.
I develop a method for how best to amplify the voices that divide. If (i) is a pretty image, (m) is a meme, and (p) is a politically divisive and over-generalized argument, here is the sequence: 4i 1p 2m 2p 1i 3p 1i 2m. This will repeat indefinitely, every third repetition either reversing the sequence or splitting it in half so the pattern will not be noticed.
But as I work I can’t forget the dunes, the ocean, the moon. I don’t know if my mother has ever seen the ocean.
After two months, I have 20,196 followers. There will be an election soon, so the higher-ups come to me more frequently for reports. Now, I make my own posts. I find news stories to blame on every breathing heterosexual, tell white men they are ugly, and for fun, I have started a meme from a stock photo model hesitant to enter a room, and a discourse on macaroni and cheese. People send me messages. They tell me about how they ostracized their classmate, cut ties with a friend, shouted down a grandparent; they want my approval. On my posts, they say, “sweater’s the realest” and “sweater is a cinnamon roll.” But they also stack up onto my most hateful posts. “You are right,” they say, “people should be silenced for my convenience.” It’s easy to convince them and I want to clutch my head because of it. I reblogged the illustration of the beach to sweater-morning twice, because the first post got buried too far under other things for me to find.
I remember that it was mewnwitch whose blog it was on and I message her. “I miss my mother too.” I think we’ll become friends.
She responds, “um wat?”
Eventually, the site finds out about the democracy chiseling we’re doing, shuts all the blogs down, and denounces us publicly. The ones in charge shrug and say we’ll find another way. sweater-morning is taken from me, but I make morning-mist for myself and decorate it with the beach and my thoughts and photos of the macaroni and cheese I asked my mother to make. There is no need to litter the space with venom and petulance. No one has to know about it.