There has been much fuss over Instagram in recent days. Mia Farrow in particular got very upset indeed about the company's change in terms of service and we all know that you do not fuck with The Farrow. Instagram, for those unfamiliar with the service, is this irreligious icon on my phone that makes crappy photos of weird Twin Peaksy hotel bars in Bunclody look like they were taken by a pretentious, talentless cunt rather than by a naturally gifted photoguy like myself. It's fab. Everyone should have one, particularly people in Homs who I suspect could do with a little Amaro cheer. The controversy arises from Instagram threatening to take everybody's dreadful photos of their blog post rough drafts and feed them into the corporate monster machine like so many processed savoury snacks. They taste like shit, these glowing orange treats, but the monster cannot but munch. Gimme, keeping in character, fails to give a fuck. And all this is as nothing in comparison to the Instagram based trauma that was visited upon me recently. Last week a young lady who I "follow" "posted" a "picture" of something inconsequential. I commented pedantically, not on the picture itself but on the accompanying caption and received a scathing, my place putting me in response. So far, so not unusually Stranded. But yesterday I discovered that said person had in fact "blocked" me. And while this action should not have surprised me given that during my brief flirtation with the horror of Facebook the same woman refused my repeated requests for friendship status, it seemed to me to be both something of an over-reaction and also immensely fucking cheeky given that I paid for the device on which this blockage was performed. Yes folks, it's one of my patented switcherooes. For the unstalked of which I speak is none other than my very own Riker, my sweet, sweet baby girl, barricaded from me now in so very many and not merely socially mediated ways.
Do you remember back when I started this shit? Riker was eight, tense of mouth, and "as a rule carried herself with the long-suffering air of an Irish mother". And now it is Data that answers to eight, and in six short weeks Riker will be fourteen. I have a fourteen year old daughter. She bears that same air, for the most part, with precious few of the teenage tantrums that society has led me to expect. But Ryker, for she has changed the spelling of her name, Ryker is riding away from me. She has always has been trying to, naturally, naturally, but until recently I could always at least keep up and more often than not take the lead myself. Being still relatively young and pretty fucking determined, I could pick the route, set the pace, shelter her from the wind. But of late she has opened up a little gap. And day by day, week by week, this gap widens. I still churn out a good steady tempo, but I grow older, weightier, and am imperceptibly but inevitably slowing, even as Riker herself grows in alacrity and confidence. Soon, much sooner than I can stand, she will be invisible on the twistier roads and as she crests those rolling hills. I will still catch glimpses on the longer straights and on the hairpins above me, but not until she begins to slow herself, from the fatigue inherent in the chasing of her own child perhaps, will I make the catch and ride side by side with my Riker once again.
At which point she had better unblock me on Instagram. I cannot stand to be this uncool.