When the Power Mac whirred awake a two-tone blue face smiled on screen. My dad would call that grinning hulk the monitor.

I took the term too much to heart, pulsed with resentment. Soon learned and equally disliked the term display.

If I got e-mail in my preteens I could not check it alone. My messages, received and sent, were read. On occasion, when my dad turned his attention somewhere else, I had to read those sentences aloud.

At school I’d ask my friends to tell me less and less online. Most gave up, would forward chain e-mails instead.

In my teens I gave up on being true blue to the rules: I secretly signed up for AIM. I deleted AOL’s page from my history each day, yet another word the computer made me hate.

It’s not that I felt guilt over my largest lie yet. I wished to purge my real life like my history. I wanted badly to select all my embarrassments to date, see those small shames barred in blue, to hit erase.

My parents caught me in my lie the old-fashioned way: someone glanced over my shoulder at the screen.

Kara Clark is a writer in Brooklyn, NY.