8. Please don’t flirt in formal meetings. Cue group discomfort.

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By Chris Montgomery via Unsplash

After a year of Zoom-based interactions, the means through which we express ourselves and interact with others has changed significantly. To mark the impromptu transition to the cyber realm, I have catalogued ten of many unexpected observations.

With all respect towards privacy taken into account, backgrounds make an ample first impression. Details like book covers, room décor and wall hangings hint at someone’s interests. On a scale from “deep-cleaned” to “disorder”, the amount of effort devoted to backdrop prep suggests how people might handle their image.

Depending on the situation, a heavily curated office space or casual living room setting…


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By Artem Beliaikin via Pexels

Some moments are buried like candles within the earth and this was one of them. A cold light cascaded along the room, the blue of porcelain dishes and an offbeat sky. Pale walls, crumbling at the edges, smudging away like blackboard chalk.

A dream then, with all its butter malleability. Clay-like in all the important aspects, yet steering the hand as one would a theatre marionette. A reality that only humbled in the aftermath, jarring wakefulness with its newfound absurdity.

This understanding did not trouble me at the time, walking those too pale walls, the low ceiling a cave without…


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By Michelle Lauren

Everything has an end, but in those early days the trees towered for miles. Thin ramrod spines with tissue paper leaves, each lean silhouette a vibrant rustle. They rose and drew away in clusters, framing a domed sky with its pearl dregs for clouds.

Never mind the rickety path or railings or signs like wildlife placards; I was lost enough. My mind was chasing the chickadees, scaling the branches for a flash of their wings as my steps burrowed further into the thicket. Dad walked alongside me telling snatches of stories, small seconds that bent the likeness of reality.

In…

Michelle Lauren

Poet, writer, and digital artist. Looking for the ways words catch like silver in the rain. Writer for The Creative Café, P.S. I Love You, and The Startup.

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