I need to go back in time and kill my 13-year-old self. It is the only way…
They say once something is on the Internet it’s there forever. She’ll always exist, at least the memory of her. Comments here and there on sites people have long forgotten, petitions, a link to everyone who has downloaded a particular song…
I’ll never be rid of her forever, not while the Net still functions. But If I can’t kill the memory of her at least I can kill her. On the Internet. Because she was so lame.
It will be a risky journey full of past-self discovery; who knows what terrors my mind has blocked out over the years. I pray to God I didn’t have the ability to upload photos back then.
I’m preparing myself for the trip to 2004, which still exists on the Internet. My ultimate goal: deletion of my Piczo account. A haven for the narcissism only present in 13-year-old girls, Piczo stands as a testament to the earlier, gaudier years of the Web. Ah, the pre-Boom-Time, I remember it well. The Internet was smaller back then, about the size of Facebook now.
But no time for reminiscing, I have a quest!
Standing before Google’s almighty time-and-space vortex I wonder what this journey will cost me. My sanity? Self-respect? A maniacal chuckle escapes me as I’m thrown backwards through time into the wasteland that was formerly the Internet.
When I materialise my stomach turns in response to my mind trying to process a barrage of visual stimuli coming my way. The angles make me dizzy. There is no physical sound but none the less this place is screaming. Blocks of colour burn my retinas and I am assaulted by the pointy ends of crudely inserted images.Large glittery text laughs in bold Comic Sans while a slab of Helvetica complain about the void that was apparently my life. From nowhere, music starts to play. Alone in this no-place the dated emo-pop ballad echoes into infinity; its cries of loneliness muffling my screams.
“Where are you coming from!?” I yell at the music. It does not reply.
To my left a word-art style graphic claims that life is hard.
“Please, stop!” my consciousness atomises as my soul is swept into a black hole of melodrama.
Still the music plays, like some macabre signal to a horde of ravenous howler-monkeys waiting to claim my sanity.
In my haze I knock into some fluorescent green text. Then I remember; everything here is a hyper-link. Tears roll down my face and into the information stream.
“Don’t judge me…” I whimper into the ether, imagining a billion tiny eyes laughing at my link-abuse.
I have been carried on sepia tides to a pink abyss. The omnipotent ruler of which gives me two choices, both of which lead to the same page. Over and over, reflections upon reflections, caught in a loop snowballing my confusion into a level greater than any assignable quantity.
Somewhere in the distance a gothic fairy flaps her wings, forever. I ask her to send to me a password reset, only to find it given to a phantom email address lost long ago. I know now that there is no escape for past Emily. She is stuck in 2004 just like all these poor souls rotting away who have forgotten their account passwords.
I decide to leave before the howler-monkeys catch up with me.