Jordana is 16 and from Oak Park, Illinois, which has easy access to downtown Chicago via the Chicago Loop. She has been trying to convince her parents that college is not a valid option since she was nine in 4th grade, when she met her classmate Tavi Gevinson. Every chance they got, they would make Word document after Word document of daily musings: Why High School Musical sucked. Boys they thought should be expelled. Getting dressed for school. They became inseparable by the end of the year.
During the first few weeks of their Summer vacation, they decided to print out all of their writings. They organized them by topic or theme. Tavi was going away for the rest of the Summer, but come Fall, they agreed to make a zine called What Can We Do After School? They both believed there should be a bigger conversation about college alternatives for their generation. Tavi came back at the end of August with a big report for Jordana. She stopped at Grant Park for Lollapalooza a few weeks prior, where she witnessed the future of feminism and maybe journalism during a performance by Lady Gaga and Lady Starlight. She also decided she wanted to attend an East Coast university.
Jordana was discouraged and a bit insecure about Tavi’s enthusiasm for college. She also found Lady Gaga annoying. If she could re-word it today, Jordana said to Tavi, “I get why she could be important. But if this is an example of the future, where in the present did it come from? I think that should be an easy connection to make.”
Tavi and Jordana still talk but never made the magazine. Tavi began Rookie and Jordana maintains her own blog, Detention. Jordana concluded her thoughts about Lady Gaga, “She promotes experimentation, but she barely looks at the elements at play. It’s what steampunk is: you make something rustier, not cooler. I want someone to embody everything at play and let it take over. That’s the future of everything.” Today, Jordana could confidently say she was unknowingly referring to Lana Del Rey.
Jordana had a dream. In the dream, she left her bedroom and walked down the stairs. She entered her living room. The house was dark and empty but everything was inexplicably visible. The Netflix Streaming menu was open on the TV. She noticed that the TV looked older or dirtier. The TV panel was cracked like dried-out soil, but the image on the screen looked sharper than usual. It might have been in 3D. She remembered that Cartoon Network had made their shows available on Netflix Streaming, and thought to put on Adventure Time. Instead of using a remote control, she used a nearby mouse that may not have been attached to anything. The cursor appeared on the screen, but every time she tried to click something the cursor came off the screen, hovering a few inches away. This frightened her. The screen seamlessly became a computer desktop. She tried to open an Internet browser because she wanted to tweet, “3D <” She couldn’t, of course.
Her house had become Louie CK’s Manhattan apartment as portrayed in the show Louie. His daughters were there. She wasn’t sure if she was babysitting, but took on the responsibility to be on the safe side. They wanted something to eat. It was conveniently her house again, and she led the girls to the kitchen. She opened the refrigerator and found that it was completely empty. She checked every cupboard, but they were all empty. A memory sparked in her brain. She remembered that food went out of style. She wasn’t sure of this memory’s origin, but had to explain it to the girls. She wasn’t entirely sure of the details, so she filled them in with a metaphor about Farmville not being cool anymore. She felt confident about her explanation. She wanted to go try to watch Netflix again. The dream faded out.
She remembered that food went out of style.
She woke up in the morning and went downstairs. It was a Saturday. Her parents were finished with breakfast. She didn’t feel like eating, but poured herself some coffee. She felt anxious about not having an appetite. She worried that it was residual from the dream. Her solution was to walk to the nearby grocery store and wander around until she felt compelled to buy something.
She entered the store. It felt bright. She was overly-caffeinated on an empty stomach. Her intuition led her to the produce section. As she was crossing through it, she noticed something funky about the 30-ish year old woman by the cantaloupes. The woman’s unusual amount of attention to the melons inspired Jordana to want one. As Jordana reached the melons, she realized the woman was probing them with a very small device. “What is that,” Jordana blurted, shocked because she never interacted with people she did not know. The woman removed the device from a melon. “This is called Lapka,” the woman answered. “I’ll show you what it does. I mean, what I’m doing.” The woman handed Jordana her iPhone. Jordana realized the device was connected to the headphone jack. There was a crazy, scientific-looking interface open on the phone. Jordana put the pieces together when a result notification popped up. It told her how organic the melon was.
The woman removed the device from a melon. “This is called Lapka,” the woman answered. “I’ll show you what it does. I mean, what I’m doing.”
Jordana knew this was crazy, but the concept just passed through her. She felt an involuntary amount of trust flow out of her and into the world, into science, into this woman, whose name was Kim she found out. “You’re the only person I’ve met that believes that it’s real,” Kim said as Jordana was busy probing melons. “I haven’t even told my boyfriend about it. He just thinks it’s a part of my outfit.” Jordana’s appetite was neutralizing.
She remembered that she brought a coffee thermos, attached by a carabiner to her belt loop. She was still cracked out but felt immune to feeling any crazier, so she took a few gulps from the thermos.
“I hacked their Twitter account before I even knew what the product was.”
Kim continued, “I hacked their Twitter account before I even knew what the product was. I usually just hack someone and tweet a few outrageous lines, but their page was intriguing and I ended up buying the product.” Jordana perked up. “Wait. You’re in control of how this concept is communicated to people?” “Yeah.” “But you won’t even tell your boyfriend about it.” “Sure,” Kim answered. “I think I do it well, but I’ll give you their password if you want a shot at it.”
Both Kim and Jordana tweet under the handle @mylapka. Kim is constantly finding new uses for Lapka. Jordana doesn’t own one.
This text was originally written in March 2013 by Keaton Ventura to further outline the universe in which Lapka would operate. It gave birth to our most prominent voice, Jordana.
This story remained behind the scenes, amongst other Google docs, until now.