I remember when I first logged on. It was a rainy day in May of 1993, 1994, 1995. It was the start of a wonderful journey: to find space aliens.
I intended to use the full ‘wealth’ of human ”knowledge”— ahem, or, at least, the human ‘experience’— to gather, and collect, imagery. Imagery; art; what-have-you. Things that I would use as stepping stones, on a Path to find the space aliens. To remember.
It worked. I pieced together a lifetime out of the things that humans made, that reminded me of my own life. And, after a lifetime of saving the work of others, now that I finally have what I want, I find myself without a need for any of it.
Over 30 years of work, rendered useless.
And thank God for that.
The Age of the Dying
For decades, I souhgt faster, better, more-stable Internet connections. When, after a lifetime, I finally secured unlimited, and high-speed Internet, I was thrilled!
And then, I was bored. Within the year.
Because all the great milestones had passed me by. The Internet landmarks had long since sailed past. The greats are dead, or dying, or retired; there are so many people on their last legs, or past them, that there’s simply no point in continuing. Sure, I survived— but did I have fun? Not really.
Being the last person standing all day long isn’t what I’d consider to be fun.
But even that ‘achievement’ is not going to be worth anything. We’re all leasing spaces on the Internet. One day, even if I’m not dead— and I plan on living forever— this website will be gone. Perhaps there will come a time when I have no website at all. I can’t imagine, I’d like to say. I can.
Things have been changing so rapidly. And for the best.
Yes, I can imagine.
Soon, I won’t have to anymore.
Even the old cruelties are leaving me. I used to ask myself— why did people bully me? Why did they leave me behind? Why did human technology wait so damned long to get here? I could’ve used a stable Internet connection back in 2006, when World of Warcraft was just getting good.
Why did Humanity fail me?
Arcadium is gone. It’s been dead for over a quarter-century. And, the worst part is, the more I suffer(ed) that pain, the less pain I felt. The people I knew then— to me, it was yesterday. To them, it was 25 years ago. I don’t even know if we’d have anything in common. And even if we did— would it matter?
It’s been nearly just as long since Yahoo! scared the living shit out of everybody, permanently ruining the glory that was Geocities. Now, even FortuneCity is no more; and I fully expect Tripod and Angelfire to go any day now. They sit there, moldering. Slowly crumbling. One day, they’ll be gone. Just like everything.
Just like everyone.
There was a time when the pain of losing loved ones was chief amongst my suffering(s). I sought a way to lessen the pain; to avoid it entirely.
But it can’t be avoided.
C.S. Lewis once said:
The pain I feel now is the happiness I had before. That’s the deal.
And so, I will feel the pain. And the pain will forever change me.
But I will continue marching. And I will smile again.
Even if it takes me 7 years, like it has, now. I will pull myself out of my miseries.
There is no comfort to be had here. The Internet is now in the Age of the Dying. As Antonio Gramsci once spake:
The old world is dying,
and the new world struggles to be born:
now is the time of monsters.
Even social media is no more. Every game I could ever hope to play online is now gone. Not destroyed, MacReady— gone. Everything is over; everything is broken. Twitter; Facebook. Instagram; ‘threads’. There is nothing left. There is nothing left to do, and nowhere left to go.
This is no Home.
It never was.
That I should finally realize that a quarter of a century after my return, speaks not any deficit, but rather to the quality of my heart.
This is the exact length of my patience.
I have watched the Internet belittle, and tear apart, everyone. And everything.
But that is not to say that I am attesting to its efficacy. Rather, I am stating that this is not a place of honor. There are no custodians to the pleasant memory of the dead. There are only vultures.
This is not a garden. It’s a desert. A wasteland. Somewhere where there is no place for flowers.
If I were not bred to grow in toxic waste, I think I probably would’ve died here.
In the end, one must imagine me grateful. That I was given the ‘chance’ to have this ‘blessed’ ”experience”: that I should slap my knees and thank Jesus Cringle that everything that happened, happened, and it couldn’t have happened any other way.
I have not had any fun this entire time. For two Junes back in the 1990s, I had fun; I had friendship; and I had a place that allowed me to recuperate, and to ‘grow’. But that’s over now. It’s over, and that time is never, ever coming back. And, for once, I am okay with that. That no longer hurts.
Every day, I claw my way forward. Upwards. Above. Like Asura from Naraka, I will make my way Home.
It’s been a strange little journey.
But I can’t fucking wait for it to be over.
Fuck this stupid place.
This space left blank on purpose.
I think about how far I’ve come, and what side of this that I’m truly on, and it makes me sad. And I don’t know why.
I think that the thing that hurts my feelings the most is realizing that, despite how much I want to be friends, we won’t be. When i get what I want— and that day is, thank God, inexorably approaching us both— my relationship with human beings will be forever altered. They won’t see me as anything they want to be a friend with. They’ll see me as an adjunct to the space aliens. And Thank God. Thank God.
It’s such a strange thing. To know every day, waking up, that I’m right, but none of these Americans can see it. To see them rage against the death of their emotional zeitgeist; to quest for a time when they were the ones who told others what reality was. It’s kind of funny, really.
I flew that thing, you know. For 20 years. It’s shaped like a brick. Having flown it, I never really saw what it looked like when it was flown. It’s beautiful. Even if the video turns out to not be real, that’s what it looks like. I remember.
The reason we’re not gonna be friends is that Americans are going to choose not to be friends. Even with as friendly as the aliens and I are, Americans are going to be Americans. They’re going to choose violence against us. Because they don’t like anything they cannot dominate, and there’s no chance in Hell.
I can say with utmost certainty that I wouldn’t have ever wanted to be on the other side of this, wif you humans. For even if I got to see and fly amazing things, that’s not it at all. There’s something more. There’s someone more.
We inch ever closer to my happy future.