#fictionalnarratives

I created the “fictionalnarratives” hashtag as an ongoing, self-initiated challenge to use Instagram as a reflexive design process, both visually and verbally. Banal, unremarkable scenes are captured, inspiring short narrative conflicts about contemporary life — otherwise known as Man vs. Self in the First World. Read more.

 "Sir, we have a problem. One of our peeps is refusing to adhere to societal norms." #TrumpEra

"Sir, we have a problem. One of our peeps is refusing to adhere to societal norms." #TrumpEra

 "Ugh, look Florian. More tourists." —Cedric (second from right)

"Ugh, look Florian. More tourists." —Cedric (second from right)

 "What up, Desert!" exclaimed the girl. "Um, shouldn't you be making hands?" it replied.

"What up, Desert!" exclaimed the girl. "Um, shouldn't you be making hands?" it replied.

 "Okay, how cool would it be to, like, paint the museum this weird shade of dusty rose?" said someone, somewhere, at some point. 

"Okay, how cool would it be to, like, paint the museum this weird shade of dusty rose?" said someone, somewhere, at some point. 

 Wear-Your-Favorite-Color-to-Work-Day(TM)

Wear-Your-Favorite-Color-to-Work-Day(TM)

 Naoshima Meetup for Trypophobics: Let's meet at Red Pumpkin for cocktails, conversation, and exposure therapy!

Naoshima Meetup for Trypophobics: Let's meet at Red Pumpkin for cocktails, conversation, and exposure therapy!

 They had failed to read the fine print mentioning that airfare included a complimentary stopover in suburban Long Island.

They had failed to read the fine print mentioning that airfare included a complimentary stopover in suburban Long Island.

 You: adventurous, low maintenance, and attractive (obvs). Me: Lover of travel, great deals, and lobster rolls. Let's meet at PWM near Gate 8 for a romantic couples massage (pls bring dollar bills).

You: adventurous, low maintenance, and attractive (obvs). Me: Lover of travel, great deals, and lobster rolls. Let's meet at PWM near Gate 8 for a romantic couples massage (pls bring dollar bills).

 His attempts to write the Great American Novel were nearly foiled when he failed to find a fresh ribbon in his desk drawer. Thank god for Amazon Prime.

His attempts to write the Great American Novel were nearly foiled when he failed to find a fresh ribbon in his desk drawer. Thank god for Amazon Prime.

 "Let's write our names on this rock!" she exclaimed. "Bae, we can do better," he laughed, as he brandished his new Makita hammer drill and a masonry bit.

"Let's write our names on this rock!" she exclaimed. "Bae, we can do better," he laughed, as he brandished his new Makita hammer drill and a masonry bit.

 "Frank, we really need those designs for the auditorium." "I know, I know. I can't concentrate. Do you have anything sweet?"

"Frank, we really need those designs for the auditorium." "I know, I know. I can't concentrate. Do you have anything sweet?"

 For a brief moment, he wondered if the color might be a little too matchy matchy.

For a brief moment, he wondered if the color might be a little too matchy matchy.

 He awoke disheveled—with only vague recollections of the night before. An old leathery recliner, an ottoman with a Napoleon complex, a sloppy game of musical chairs? So done with the Scotchgard.

He awoke disheveled—with only vague recollections of the night before. An old leathery recliner, an ottoman with a Napoleon complex, a sloppy game of musical chairs? So done with the Scotchgard.

 The Daily Bugle had failed to keep up with the times (damn that amazing NYT Now app). With the photo assignments few and far between, Spidey was left to seek out an alternate day job.

The Daily Bugle had failed to keep up with the times (damn that amazing NYT Now app). With the photo assignments few and far between, Spidey was left to seek out an alternate day job.

 "C U @ corner," Claes wrote. "👍🏻," Andy texted in response.

"C U @ corner," Claes wrote. "👍🏻," Andy texted in response.

 Long inspired by Warhol's Piss Paintings and, more recently, by the work of Ofili, the up-and-coming pigeon attempted his most daring piece yet. Not bad, he thought. Not bad.

Long inspired by Warhol's Piss Paintings and, more recently, by the work of Ofili, the up-and-coming pigeon attempted his most daring piece yet. Not bad, he thought. Not bad.

 "Modern, but with nest-like details" was how she'd expressed her preferences to the architect. Her chest puffed with pride as she surveyed her new home.

"Modern, but with nest-like details" was how she'd expressed her preferences to the architect. Her chest puffed with pride as she surveyed her new home.

 "Yeah, it's pretty, but I wish there were a Señor Frog's nearby."

"Yeah, it's pretty, but I wish there were a Señor Frog's nearby."

 Never to be outdone, they set their sights on free climbing the Dawn Wall of El Capitan--while painting it.

Never to be outdone, they set their sights on free climbing the Dawn Wall of El Capitan--while painting it.

 Her mother had warned of infections, but she just couldn't wait any longer. Time to get a belly ring once and for all.

Her mother had warned of infections, but she just couldn't wait any longer. Time to get a belly ring once and for all.

 He'd awoken in the middle of a deserted road, sun-baked and parched, with no recollection as to how he'd gotten there. He soon stumbled across the warm remnants of a Polar Pop but elected to pass, hoping he might encounter a properly chilled craft beer over the next few miles.

He'd awoken in the middle of a deserted road, sun-baked and parched, with no recollection as to how he'd gotten there. He soon stumbled across the warm remnants of a Polar Pop but elected to pass, hoping he might encounter a properly chilled craft beer over the next few miles.

 The fancy title and corner office now seemed meaningless in the grand scheme of things. He yearned for a simpler life—foraging, rock climbing, maybe even writing some poetry.

The fancy title and corner office now seemed meaningless in the grand scheme of things. He yearned for a simpler life—foraging, rock climbing, maybe even writing some poetry.

 What the media had failed to report was that she'd been traveling with the family's beloved pet squirrel. Sir Rocky was a bit old school, and his notions of proper dining etiquette were both particular and unyielding.

What the media had failed to report was that she'd been traveling with the family's beloved pet squirrel. Sir Rocky was a bit old school, and his notions of proper dining etiquette were both particular and unyielding.

 The promise of more land and lower property taxes had lured the Solos away from urban centers. What they hadn't quite anticipated was the tyranny of Big Gulps in the suburbs.

The promise of more land and lower property taxes had lured the Solos away from urban centers. What they hadn't quite anticipated was the tyranny of Big Gulps in the suburbs.

 It was just that he'd always imagined an adventurous life: a classified government document, a Hollywood movie script, heck, even a confetti scrap bound for Times Square on New Years. His only hope was the recycling bin.

It was just that he'd always imagined an adventurous life: a classified government document, a Hollywood movie script, heck, even a confetti scrap bound for Times Square on New Years. His only hope was the recycling bin.

 "Yet another fanboy with a camera, getting all up in my grill," he sighed.

"Yet another fanboy with a camera, getting all up in my grill," he sighed.

 "Whoa, this museum has the best dioramas ever," mused the elk. "So many varieties of humans on display. Fully mechanized too."

"Whoa, this museum has the best dioramas ever," mused the elk. "So many varieties of humans on display. Fully mechanized too."

 He surveyed the terrain for a spot in which to pitch the tent. Never having been much of a camper, he was delighted to discover that the outdoors now included readily available electricity.

He surveyed the terrain for a spot in which to pitch the tent. Never having been much of a camper, he was delighted to discover that the outdoors now included readily available electricity.

 She arose on Tuesday, perplexed as to what to wear. She finally settled on a comfy — but flattering — rose stigmata.

She arose on Tuesday, perplexed as to what to wear. She finally settled on a comfy — but flattering — rose stigmata.

 He'd arrived for his routine annual a few minutes early and figured he'd catch up on the news. By the time Dr. Lam arrived, he was three stories deep in the Health section, questioning the competency of the CDC, and sweating profusely.

He'd arrived for his routine annual a few minutes early and figured he'd catch up on the news. By the time Dr. Lam arrived, he was three stories deep in the Health section, questioning the competency of the CDC, and sweating profusely.

 It'd take more than a flimsy sign warning of biohazards to keep her from making her laps around the bay. In fact, just last week she'd had a salmon roll from Number 1 Sushi down the street. On a Monday. 

It'd take more than a flimsy sign warning of biohazards to keep her from making her laps around the bay. In fact, just last week she'd had a salmon roll from Number 1 Sushi down the street. On a Monday. 

 Known as the 8th Wonder of the World, Toehenge is made up of small biomorphic structures bearing smooth keratin deposits on their surface. Long believed to possess magical powers, Toehenge has become a popular attraction among beachgoers and ants alike.

Known as the 8th Wonder of the World, Toehenge is made up of small biomorphic structures bearing smooth keratin deposits on their surface. Long believed to possess magical powers, Toehenge has become a popular attraction among beachgoers and ants alike.

 In high school, his flowing locks had been the envy of his classmates — both guys and girls alike. Now in his 30s, he suspected his man bun was more likely the root of his problems, not least of which was a stubbornly clogged drain.

In high school, his flowing locks had been the envy of his classmates — both guys and girls alike. Now in his 30s, he suspected his man bun was more likely the root of his problems, not least of which was a stubbornly clogged drain.

 #tbt To that time when  @yoonjaichoi   @brendanatoli   @robertlenne   and I flawlessly executed a synchronized swimming routine to  Pretty Hurts.  To deafening applause. In Stockholm. 

#tbt To that time when @yoonjaichoi @brendanatoli @robertlenne  and I flawlessly executed a synchronized swimming routine to Pretty Hurts. To deafening applause. In Stockholm. 

 When the ladder awoke with stiff rails for the fourth day in a row, he knew it was time for a proper bed.

When the ladder awoke with stiff rails for the fourth day in a row, he knew it was time for a proper bed.

 The fine lines and sudden spurt of grey had her rethinking the whole "age gracefully" thing. 

The fine lines and sudden spurt of grey had her rethinking the whole "age gracefully" thing. 

 While she enjoyed co-working with plants, they never offered to grab her coffee or provide design feedback — and only once, nodded in agreement with her post-game analysis of  Top Chef  on a particularly windy day. 

While she enjoyed co-working with plants, they never offered to grab her coffee or provide design feedback — and only once, nodded in agreement with her post-game analysis of Top Chef on a particularly windy day. 

 They were both painfully aware of how stilted their conversations had become of late, and thus, made plans to check out the Arc'teryx sale at REI, hit the ravine trails on Mt. Tam, and finish it off with burritos at La Taq. If that didn't work, perhaps they really were better off as Facebook friends.

They were both painfully aware of how stilted their conversations had become of late, and thus, made plans to check out the Arc'teryx sale at REI, hit the ravine trails on Mt. Tam, and finish it off with burritos at La Taq. If that didn't work, perhaps they really were better off as Facebook friends.

 "You will never burst me!" mocked the bubble with a bit too much sass.

"You will never burst me!" mocked the bubble with a bit too much sass.

 He had returned home, only to discover his daughter's Japanese fighting fish lying lifeless outside its bowl. He surrendered Sebastian to the toilet with a brisk flush, and hastened to prepare a quick meal of cod brandade.

He had returned home, only to discover his daughter's Japanese fighting fish lying lifeless outside its bowl. He surrendered Sebastian to the toilet with a brisk flush, and hastened to prepare a quick meal of cod brandade.

 His therapist had prescribed catch-and-release as a way to calm his nerves, but he just couldn't bear the thought of hooking anything in the lip. He settled for paddle boating around the lake with Trey Anastasio in his ears and a bag of Pepperidge Farm Goldfish in his lap. 

His therapist had prescribed catch-and-release as a way to calm his nerves, but he just couldn't bear the thought of hooking anything in the lip. He settled for paddle boating around the lake with Trey Anastasio in his ears and a bag of Pepperidge Farm Goldfish in his lap. 

 She found the views magnificent, of course, but truthfully, preferred sipping piña coladas under the heat lamps at the sky bar. Furthermore, the miles from the balloon ride didn't count toward her Premier 1K status.

She found the views magnificent, of course, but truthfully, preferred sipping piña coladas under the heat lamps at the sky bar. Furthermore, the miles from the balloon ride didn't count toward her Premier 1K status.

 Against his better judgment, he'd brought his DSLR, zoom lens and all. Not only did it prove cumbersome and somewhat difficult to use, but he also couldn't help but feel that his photos felt a little flat without Amaro.

Against his better judgment, he'd brought his DSLR, zoom lens and all. Not only did it prove cumbersome and somewhat difficult to use, but he also couldn't help but feel that his photos felt a little flat without Amaro.

 He'd already lost his year-end bonus at the table by the time the dealer swept away his hopes of a new dining table. He was mildly consoled when he recalled the perfectly adequate, reasonably priced BJÖRKUDDEN he'd seen at IKEA. 

He'd already lost his year-end bonus at the table by the time the dealer swept away his hopes of a new dining table. He was mildly consoled when he recalled the perfectly adequate, reasonably priced BJÖRKUDDEN he'd seen at IKEA. 

 She had been begging them for a Dreamhouse(TM) for her 6th birthday. They reluctantly obliged, but included a model train set as well — secretly hoping that Barbie would make frequent trips to the city for poetry readings and improvisational jazz.

She had been begging them for a Dreamhouse(TM) for her 6th birthday. They reluctantly obliged, but included a model train set as well — secretly hoping that Barbie would make frequent trips to the city for poetry readings and improvisational jazz.

 She was widely respected for her deft hands in rehabilitating old things — furniture, artwork, books. So much, in fact, that one day, a young man stopped in to see if she might be able to restore his iPhone 3G. 

She was widely respected for her deft hands in rehabilitating old things — furniture, artwork, books. So much, in fact, that one day, a young man stopped in to see if she might be able to restore his iPhone 3G. 

 It had taken him years to recover from the demands of his own ego. But as the younger of two sons, salutatorian of his graduating class, and his wife's second husband, he realized the real pleasures were to be found in silver, not gold.

It had taken him years to recover from the demands of his own ego. But as the younger of two sons, salutatorian of his graduating class, and his wife's second husband, he realized the real pleasures were to be found in silver, not gold.

 No matter how long she slept, how hard she rallied, or how much Vitamin B Complex she consumed, she couldn't seem to shake the oppressive weight of her fatigue. It was time to try a venti dirty chai. 

No matter how long she slept, how hard she rallied, or how much Vitamin B Complex she consumed, she couldn't seem to shake the oppressive weight of her fatigue. It was time to try a venti dirty chai. 

 "Accounting irregularities" was the phrase the media had been using to describe the trouble at work. They slipped out for some Sagres and bacalhau — knowing it might be their last meal together for a while. 

"Accounting irregularities" was the phrase the media had been using to describe the trouble at work. They slipped out for some Sagres and bacalhau — knowing it might be their last meal together for a while. 

 They had never been particularly supportive of his aspirations as an artist — practically guffawing when he confessed to dreams of achieving Koons-esque acclaim. Just wait, he thought — he'd have the last laugh. 

They had never been particularly supportive of his aspirations as an artist — practically guffawing when he confessed to dreams of achieving Koons-esque acclaim. Just wait, he thought — he'd have the last laugh. 

 When they first met, he knew that the fun and games wouldn't last forever. But after 10 glorious months of tea parties, travel abroad, and night time confessions, he had allowed himself to think — hope, really — that just maybe, she was different. 

When they first met, he knew that the fun and games wouldn't last forever. But after 10 glorious months of tea parties, travel abroad, and night time confessions, he had allowed himself to think — hope, really — that just maybe, she was different. 

 Since arriving, they'd been force fed hearty portions of her famous lasagna and an equally generous helping of the neighborhood gossip. When she left for the market (more ricotta), they took a moment to contemplate the emptiness they felt within. 

Since arriving, they'd been force fed hearty portions of her famous lasagna and an equally generous helping of the neighborhood gossip. When she left for the market (more ricotta), they took a moment to contemplate the emptiness they felt within. 

 She had assumed that all that Twilight hysteria meant better days ahead. But her Sweet 16 had been a quiet and rather lackluster affair, with nary a single Team Jacob devotee in sight.  Sculpture by  @cmorey .

She had assumed that all that Twilight hysteria meant better days ahead. But her Sweet 16 had been a quiet and rather lackluster affair, with nary a single Team Jacob devotee in sight. Sculpture by @cmorey.

 There had been a point in his life when it was all about muscle tees and muffler-less Mustangs, but he'd since traded in the dream for custom-tailored shirts and a 2011 Prius.

There had been a point in his life when it was all about muscle tees and muffler-less Mustangs, but he'd since traded in the dream for custom-tailored shirts and a 2011 Prius.

 When they were first introduced, he was immediately charmed by her abundant freckles and alabaster skin. A month into dating, he began referring to her as his "Little Constellation", or "LC" for short. 

When they were first introduced, he was immediately charmed by her abundant freckles and alabaster skin. A month into dating, he began referring to her as his "Little Constellation", or "LC" for short. 

 The only time she'd ever fainted was in the 5th grade, when Mr. Johnson had emerged from the science closet with his prized plastic heart. That detachable blue vena cava had resulted in a concussion. After ten consecutive seasons of Grey's Anatomy, she was now desensitized — and secretly quite proud of it. 

The only time she'd ever fainted was in the 5th grade, when Mr. Johnson had emerged from the science closet with his prized plastic heart. That detachable blue vena cava had resulted in a concussion. After ten consecutive seasons of Grey's Anatomy, she was now desensitized — and secretly quite proud of it. 

 They had run amok, tirelessly chasing the wind and each other around in circles — scraping their knees on the sidewalk one minute, bouncing back the next. Hitting his limit, he banished them to the corner for a time out.

They had run amok, tirelessly chasing the wind and each other around in circles — scraping their knees on the sidewalk one minute, bouncing back the next. Hitting his limit, he banished them to the corner for a time out.

 While others in her situation would have seen the street sign as an apt summation of her life over the past few years, she saw it quite simply as a reminder to schedule a trim. 

While others in her situation would have seen the street sign as an apt summation of her life over the past few years, she saw it quite simply as a reminder to schedule a trim. 

 She felt tired in her bones, and not because she'd just had her ass whipped by a former junior tennis champion. It was the politics at work, the sullen teenager at home, and the constant scrutiny of the in-laws from afar. In a rare moment of resolve, she channeled her inner Sheryl and leaned in. 

She felt tired in her bones, and not because she'd just had her ass whipped by a former junior tennis champion. It was the politics at work, the sullen teenager at home, and the constant scrutiny of the in-laws from afar. In a rare moment of resolve, she channeled her inner Sheryl and leaned in. 

 He had managed to smoothly dock the boat after repeated trials and errors (unfortunately, more the latter) for months now. But his enthusiasm waned when he realized that this, perhaps, was his greatest accomplishment all year. 

He had managed to smoothly dock the boat after repeated trials and errors (unfortunately, more the latter) for months now. But his enthusiasm waned when he realized that this, perhaps, was his greatest accomplishment all year. 

 They climbed the last mile without so much as a word between them. He missed the lively banter that had characterized their relationship for years prior. She wished that she had packed some trail mix — the kind with real chocolate, not those waxy carob chips. 

They climbed the last mile without so much as a word between them. He missed the lively banter that had characterized their relationship for years prior. She wished that she had packed some trail mix — the kind with real chocolate, not those waxy carob chips. 

 They chose to overlook the peeling wallpaper and the musty carpet, comforted by the simple fact that the liquor store was only a block away.

They chose to overlook the peeling wallpaper and the musty carpet, comforted by the simple fact that the liquor store was only a block away.