The conspiracy theory she most wanted to believe was that Stanley Kubrick and the United States government faked the moon landing.

Think about it: You can’t see stars. Explain that, she said.

She debated this–and other pressing issues–on a message board in 2001. The background color of the forum was green, but her memory serves her a bluish green with an iridescent glow.

One day she became an administrator on that message board. No one knew she was fifteen, moderating people ten, maybe twenty years her elder. She never lied about her age. No one asked. But of course she never volunteered it. A generation of anonymous people online, because their parents told them not to tell. That’s when you get in trouble. When you volunteer too much of yourself.

She chatted about music and Photoshop. This is what people did online back then–they traded favorite albums and serial numbers for expensive software. And conspiracy theories.

Really, just look at the shadows! she would argue.

In those days the keyboards gave a satisfying click, as if to prove a point. At night she existed in the shades of the screen. The blacks and blues, or greens, or blue-greens. It was her safe space.

She wanted to believe, even though she probably didn’t.

Andy Newman is a writer and filmmaker from Ohio who lives in Los Angeles. You can see his work on the internet