Lauv glances at a mannequin hand sticking out of a building as he walks at night. He stops by a male mannequin wrapped in plastic lying by an electronics store. He sticks his foot into the computer. A lime green light sucks him into the computer.
Lit in electric blue, he lies on the floor with computer monitors by him. Lit in violet, a hairless cat purrs between speakers. The cat jumps by on the floor as he sits up. He presses the keys on the keyboard while standing by the desk.
In a dark room, he dances in front of a mirror. His face in the mirror is filtered with animated dog ears and nose. Lips float over his head. Animated tears squirt from his eyes.
He walks into the kitchen. People in messy wigs sit at a long table, drinking wine. He sits at the table.
Back in the room with the electronics, he talks on the phone.
He touches the hand of the person next to him and they all turn into mannequins. His mom smokes a cigarette as she walks around the kitchen. The counter burns behind her. She steals a drink of one of the people and knocks a mannequin out of a chair. Lauv takes a bite of gelatin and chokes. His mom laughs. He puts his hands on his recovers and watches the people disappear.
Back in the room of electronics, he puts his foot into the computer and returns back to the city. He takes a step and bumps into a glass wall. He hits his fists against the wall. Inside a bedroom, Lauv watches the video and closes his laptop.
A pop-up message slides across Lauv’s phone. It states that his screen time is down to 30 percent for the week. There has been a little progress. The apps on his phone won’t lock him out completely. He usually finds himself pressing “ignore” if he gets bored while watching a movie. Usually, he’ll try to beat the next level of Toon Blast.
His mom takes his phone whenever he comes over to visit. She tells him he’ll get it back once he leaves. She adds he’s always on the phone. He retorted “I’m not!” and then kept his hand on his thigh to keep from reaching for it. His phone beeps while he and his mom talk. He taps his foot on the floor. She excuses herself to go to the bathroom. He gets his phone out of the drawer and checks the message. It’s a notification for a flash sale.
He reads a comment from a friend on his social media and thinks it might be a backhanded compliment. He posts that not everyone wished him a “happy birthday” and says he’ll only acknowledge the people who bothered the next time. It’s as though people don’t care anymore.
Viewing the feeds of his friends, he shakes his head at the hashtags and filtered photos. They were living the perfect lives. He writes a post that no one takes time to know each one another really well. A friend asks in the comments if he’s doing all right.
He hasn’t been all right for a few months. His mom thinks he should see someone. However, he doesn’t know how to ask it about on the phone. Even thought it’s a stranger, the person will know. Talking to a real person is just too overwhelming. He’ll have to be on medication. It’s going to be cost a lot of money with multiple visits. Limiting his screen time seems to be working right now.
Director: Jenna Marsh Year: 2019