Friday, October 06, 2017

Writober 10.6.17: Love, period.

“SO LONG, AIM. FOR YEARS, FOR MILLIONS, YOU WERE THE INTERNET”

That’s Wired’s headline about the imminent demise of AIM. I still remember fondly AIM’s ability to search its database of users by age, location, gender, interests, etc.

I’ve always had trouble sleeping and there was a time when I used to scroll through numerous west coast AIM profiles looking for people to chat with in the late hours of the night.

“Which do you like better,” I asked one evening, “ICQ or AIM?” That geeky question started a relationship that would go on to last eight years, cause an epic heartbreak, and have such an impact on my life that even a decade later I still occasionally experience soft, surprising aftershocks.

But that day I was just killing time before heading off to one of my evening classes. We joked about nonsense, talked about roller coasters (I have no idea why) and after I told him I was auditioning him for a potential “pen pal” he asked how he was doing. “Good so far but we’ll see what your application looks like.” When he humored the silliness I knew I’d found a good one.

Catching the time I told him I needed to go. “Thank you for chatting with me!” I typed and signed off.

A long while later, after he’d become my best friend and something more that I was afraid to name, during our first visit, he told me the thank you made him want to keep chatting with me.

“Really?” I asked. “Why?”

“Nobody is that polite online and I liked the exclamation point.”

I laughed. Manners and punctuation. The key to all great love affairs. Or at least, memorable connections.

Filed under: Writing


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