Once, as a kid, my Dad stuck a fish he didn’t want to eat into a hole in the kitchen wall.
For years I dreamed about its guts, which predated me by decades. We got a computer when I was 8. The Internet was a sour, pulpy fish rotting behind wallpaper, another thing you cannot see but must necessarily believe in. I have never needed to know that a rule exists before I follow it: I stayed away.
The closest I came to AIM was when my sister, home from college, spent the summer anxiously IMing her first boyfriend about ultimate frisbee and guitar chords. When they broke up I took his mixtapes and listened, alone in my room. I’d glimpsed a sweetness: the first, but not last unaccountable longing prompted via cursor.
I didn’t understand, but did suspect that the shape of such sweetness was unwieldy, unreliable: I suspected that it was like a mirror at the mall.
Anyways, I was homeschooled. Who would I even have chatted with? All I ever did was play in the woods, drawn by weak Spring light into gullies, years after I was too old to be doing that. You don’t have to know that a stranger exists in order to find them. But I didn’t know that, then.