Three words: Green Comic Sans. It was the font of choice for the misfits, the Hot Topic kids, the ~so random~ ones. It was my font of choice in the AIM era, a way to insist my individuality. I was fun, you know? Kooky. I was “not like other girls.” They preferred pink, the blonde ones. Every away message was written in this lime, this sour green, highlighted by a black background because #goth, a selection of poignant Blink-182 lyrics meant as hints to my crush; it was all the original the subtweet. My IM sound was the instrumental from “The Zephyr Song.” When that little door opening noise brought my attention to HE, he who was there but never really, I used my IM sound and my green Comic Sans to send long and rambling messages about music, life, anything to make him think I was cool and smart and different. It’s strange, you look at 14-year-olds now and think, What do they know about anything? But in the comfort of a little box, customized completely, icons and colors and all, even a kid could think straight. The things you tell someone you’re infatuated with in the middle of the night, in the middle of the internet, those are so, so real.

Stephanie Maida is a writer and editor living and chainsmoking in New York.