“Delivery,” the FedEx delivery driver said with a heavy dose of apathy before scanning the label and chucking my package at my door. With the kind of accuracy only a FedEx driver could have, he managed to hit my doorbell as well. I got up from my couch with gusto in an attempt to chastise the driver for throwing my package before he hopped back into his van that was idling outside my apartment. A waft of exhaust warmed my nose hairs as I pulled open the door.
“Don’t you know what’s in here?! It’s an electronic, dumbass. It could have broken because of you,” I said. My words were met with a diesel engine revving, and the driver proceeded to take off. I crouched down to pick up the tiny package. I gave it a little shake to see if the device inside was still intact then checked the return address.
Finally, at long last. I was finally in possession of a hacked Amazon Firestick. Movies, shows, documentaries just released yesterday in stunning 4K were suddenly made accessible to me. All watchable from the comfort of my own living room. Aforementioned by my fiancée’s dad and promised to us before we made the arduous move out to Florida, it was finally here in my hands. I pulled out my orange pocket knife from my desk drawer and made quick work of the cardboard and bubble wrap.
My fiancée was out of town for her sister’s wedding and none of my colleagues wanted to hang out, so I decided to give it a test. I observed the tacky tape job on the stick and noticed there was no remote included in the box. I shrugged it off and figured my TV remote would probably work with it.
I inserted the Firestick into the only HDMI port that wasn’t already occupied by a gaming console, HDMI three. The TV switched on as soon as I inserted the stick. Damien Chazelle’s Whiplash immediately started playing.
“Hey, I’ve been meaning to watch this since forever,” I said to myself. I made myself some hot pockets and got comfy. After the movie ended it cut as soon as the credits started to the next episode of a show I was in the middle of watching: Barry.
Wait… what the fuck?
I bolted from the couch over to the TV. I yanked and yanked on the Firestick. It wouldn’t budge. I tried to switch off the power strip that my TV was plugged into. It felt like the switch had been super glued into position. It too wouldn’t budge. I went to the power socket that the power strip was plugged into and attempted to cut the source of power there.
A thought piped up from the back of my mind. You’re missing the show. I didn’t even make it back to the couch. I sat crisscross on the rug in front of my TV, eyes permanently transfixed on the screen in front of me. My jaw slacked, drool collecting in my lap. When I had watched every piece of visual media the Firestick had to offer, it moved on to audio books. What perfect timing too! My eyesight was fading fast. When the audio books ran out it moved on to music. The richness of the music was enhanced by the lack of eyesight so, really, it wasn’t all that bad. I had no desire to move. No desire to create. My dreams and ambitions were dead, and I had not a care in the world.
All went silent the day the music died.