);

VIEWS LIKE WHITE ELEPHANTS by Frank Jackson

The couple found a spot on a beach with no one in front of them. Sunset was an hour away. She pulled out her phone and scanned the view. He grabbed a couple of beers, opened his own and started chugging. 

“Hey Babe, how’s it looking?”
“Oh my God, it’s going to be perfect.”
“A gorgeous sunset post at the end of summer. I can feel it — this one’s gonna blow up for me.”
“Well I was going to post it on my feed.”
“Well we can’t both post the same picture at the same location. People will know we’re together.”
“Well you’ve made it perfectly clear how you feel about that.” 

A beached whale emerged on the shore. People hurried over to try to help the whale and the lifeguard ran to call a specialist from the zoo. The whale appeared to be in distress. One of its flippers was bent and barely moving. It let out a series of noises trying to communicate something in earnest.

“I just don’t think my followers will be cool with us dating so soon after me and Tracy. She has over 12,000 followers, and trust me you do not want to piss them off.”
“I’m sorry I just thought the picture from dinner at the restaurant last night was so perfect and beautiful and would have obviously gotten 5 digit likes and my page is just in a rut right now and I wish you hadn’t made me delete it.”
“If you want to post it just go ahead and post it, do whatever you want.”
“Oh really, you’d be fine with that?”
“I’m just saying maybe wait a while, let this whole thing with me and Tracy blow over.”
“It’s too late anyway, I’m not going to post something today from yesterday.”
“Christ, who would even know? Who would even care?”

A second beached whale washed up on shore. People went and took the buckets their children were using to make sandcastles and were now running back and forth splashing buckets of ocean water trying to keep the whales wet until help could arrive. A couple of the bravest ones were attempting to push and slide the whales across the sand and back in the water but weren’t making much progress.

“How much longer do we have to wait for the sunset?”
“Siri, what time will the sun set today?”

“The sunset today will be in 14 minutes.”

He opened up another beer, finished it with three giant gulps and opened up another one.

“This is boring.”
“We can leave as soon as I get my picture.”
“Oh. So you’re going to post it.”
“Yes I’m going to post it.”
“Fine, I guess I won’t be posting one then.”
“I’m sorry but I’m not the bad guy here.”

She took the beer from his hand and finished it.

“Look, Babe, time is going to fly. In a month or two or three after we make it public everything will be so perfect. I mean who knows, I could see one day us making a joint account together, raising it from scratch, growing it together, something we can share.”
“Really?”
“Yeah.”
“I mean, you really mean it?”
“Babe.”

They kissed.

“I love you.”
“I think we would create an amazing YouTube channel together.”

By the time the marine specialists arrived it was too late. The whales had given out to dehydration. Many of the people, especially the children, took it hard.

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