Jamie Keiles is a writer for Rookie Mag, the most incredible teen magazine that you never had when you were growing up. In her spare time, she stresses about things she can’t control, enthuses over condiments, and attends the University of Chicago. You can find her on Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook.
I know that things were weird for us at the end. I was too clingy, on you all the time. And you, with the total disregard for my privacy, my decency.
I ran into you at the library the other day. It’s clear we don’t connect like we used to, but still, it’s nice to see you again. Sometimes I can’t help but look back on the days when we first met — back when we were both young and didn’t know our own potential. You said you wanted nothing more from life than to help people pass along chain letters and access porn. Our relationship felt dangerous, mysterious, progressive. We’d spend afternoons together in the back rows of the computer lab, caressing your keys and learning how your insides worked. Together, we asked strangers A/S/L in the “Just for Teens” chat room and keyword searched “sex” because I was too shy to Ask Jeeves. Sometimes I’d leave you for school or friends. This made you mad. You’d call and yell at me through the phone in that familiar, screeching dial-up tone of yours.
“Blllleeeeeooooo bleeeeooooo spppkkkkkkkkk weeewahhhweahhhh,” you shouted.
“This would never have happened if you hadn’t been so slow!” I’d say. “I’m done with this. I’m logging off.”
Inevitably though, I’d be back. The next day you’d load a heart-shaped cursor on my Geocities page and everything would be fine.
[Clockwise from left: Emoticon magnets from Mymimi; Holographic eye pin from Glowwormshop; Evil smiles sweatshirt from Burgerandfriends; Green alien iron-on patch from Coolpatches; Alien porthole wall decal from Wilsongraphics; Botryoidal agate cabochon from Silurianera]
As we both got older, we both changed. In my buddy profile, I listed initials that were not yours beside a <3. You promised, “Shoot the ducks and win a prize!” but the iPods and Ugg boots never came. We fought.
“What were you doing on OkCupid?” you accused, opening my search history. “Oh let’s go there,” I shouted. “I know you’ve been hanging around with that cheap floozy NetZero.”
“Cheap?” you goaded. “Takes one to know one. Your MySpace pleas of ‘pic cmnt 4 pic cmnt’ absolutely reek of desperation.”
[Clockwise from left: Leopard Print Hair Extensions from Malignantdesigns; A Place for friends by Citizenscholar; OMFG funny necklace from Essemdesign; Iridescent purple miniskirt from Badatpettingcats; Smiley face digital download from Vellascollagesheets; Computer keyboard keys from Musthavebeenthecat]
I should have left; I should have realized that things between us weren’t good anymore. But I stayed. Through Xanga. Through MySpace. Through your password phishing schemes and Napster habit. I’m not sure why I held on. The love was gone. I think what kept me going was the hope that someday we’d laugh again at 3D dancing babies and flash cartoons on Ebaum’s World. That day never came.
We’ve since gone our separate ways. You’ve made it big. You live a fast life now. Video streaming. Twitter. HD everything. I only see you now and then when I go to check an email, but nonetheless, it makes me happy to see you’re doing well. I just hope you don’t blame me for wondering if we could have been something more.
Happy Valentine’s Day,