You can almost forget you're on a roof,
until you look down at the parking lots, the muddy fields. It's a protected wetland down there, the intern who was giving us this tour said. (Okay, the intern happened to be my son.) He loved working at Facebook.
Until, he didn't.
What did we do before Facebook?
I think I talked on the phone a lot. When we moved over the years, I let most friends and acquaintances go. Maybe ran into them here and there, or someone they knew, and spent a few minutes catching up. Who got married. Who had kids. Who died. I used to send photos in the mail to relatives. We exchanged letters and holiday cards. I read the newspaper, the actual paper thing, spread out over the counter. The only comment section was the Letters to the Editor.
Before Facebook I didn't know that the boy I had a crush on in fifth grade thinks Muslims should be banned from living in our country. I didn't know that my aunt believes tearing down a confederate statue is more appalling than a police officer kneeling on a man's neck until he dies.
The Facebook campus has hammocks. Individually packaged toothbrushes in the bathrooms. Vending machines that give out free keyboards and phone chargers. They sell ads to political groups, to foreign countries who want to influence our elections, to people who think vaccinations are bad and it's good to give your child bleach if he has autism.
I'm in a gardening group, people who live in my neighborhood who I've never met in real life, sharing tips on growing vegetables, identifying flowers, sharing seeds. I've got extra cucumber seedlings, someone posts. Please stop by and help yourself!
My cousin shares pictures of her son, a child I've never met in real life, but because of Facebook I know what his favorite books are, his first words. Another cousin shares a conspiracy theory. The Democrats want to take your guns, your statues, your religion, your right to walk around in a crowded restaurant during a global pandemic mask-less.
The day my son took us to the rooftop park, we walked under the winding trees alone. It was just our family up there. Everyone else is too busy, my son told us. A shame, because they'd spent so much money on the design, the sprawling trees and plants.
So nice up there, if you didn't look at the barren, muddy lot stretching out below.