For all the hype, all the industry and the billions of dollars, I’ve really only found one worthwhile activity on the Internet: Googling the names of old girlfriends…
—Michael David, The New York Chronicle-Observer
Subject: In Your Eyes
Hi Diane, it’s me, Lloyd. Lloyd Dobbler. Found your blog via Google. I promised myself I’d never write you again, but you know. I dunno. Maybe I didn’t really know you. Maybe you were just a mirage. Maybe the world is full of food and sex and spectacle and we’re all just hurling towards an apocalypse, in which case it’s not your fault. Did I say that already? Anyway, I’ve been thinking about all these things. Also, I’m drunk.
I just want you to know that I really do hope you are happy in your new life. In London. With whatsisname. I mean it, I really do. Good old stupid puppy dog idiot Lloyd. Look where it’s gotten me. Remember when I said I didn’t want to sell anything, buy anything, or process anything as a career? Or sell anything bought or processed, or buy anything sold or processed, or process anything sold, bought, or processed? Guess what I do now. I buy and sell computer processors. My life is a cruel joke.
What else can I tell you? I gave up kickboxing after a sparring accident—lost partial vision in my left eye. I can’t listen to Peter Gabriel without throwing up. I still hang out at the Gas ‘n Sip. I’d love to hear back from you, Diane. I wish you were here, wish I could talk to you again. Write back. Say something. Anything.
And one more thing—about this e-mail? Nuke it. Flame it. Destroy it. It hurts me to know it’s out there. You know, our usual routine.
Subject: Hey stranger!
Surprise! Remember me? I sure hope so—we saved the galaxy together! LOL!
Yes, it’s me, your old “Princess.” God, that takes me back—how long has it been? How are you? I was just messing around on the Web when I thought I’d try to look you up. Turns out Google has, like, a million listings for Han Solo. You’re a popular guy (for a scruffy-looking nerf herder!)
I’m doing pretty well, I guess. After the Battle of Endor, Luke and I jumped back to Coruscant to reform the Galactic Senate. I was surprised you left so quickly after the Ewok party. I thought maybe we had something going there, but I guess not. Oh, well, the important thing is we’ve moved on. I’ve been married for three years now to the Bothan ambassador, and it’s great. It’s just really good, you know? Really nice. Um, I don’t see Luke too much anymore—he’s totally absorbed in his Jedi thing. It’s weird. I mean, he’s always huddled up with the ghosts of Obi-Wan and Dad, disappearing to swamp planets for weeks at a time. And that whole lightsaber fetish is just creepy. Boys!
So I hear you beat the record again on the Kessel Run! Good for you, you always were great at escaping, running away, whatever. Listen, I’m going to be taking a business trip to Dantooine next month. Maybe we could get together? No pressure, just old friends, OK? Let me know! Love to Chewie!
Subject: For old times sake…
Ilsa … been a long time, kid. A long, long time. I didn’t know whether I should try to find you, but Sam talked me into it. He spent the whole summer getting this place wired for Internet and satellite. It’s these young punks coming to the café. All they want to do is get drunk and watch the World Cup matches. Not like the old days, sweetheart. Not at all.
I trust you and Laszlo are doing well for yourselves in the States. Looking back, over all these years, I suppose we did the right thing. But it still stings, kid. Stings like hell. I’ve never met another woman like you, and don’t expect to. It’s lonely here, Ilsa. The Moroccan nights are hot and bitter, and the rain falls like tears on the cracked pavement. I masturbate a lot. The satellite hookup helps.
What else can I tell you? Renault is still around, and drops by pretty regularly. He’s retired now, you know. We took a little holiday together a few years ago—tracked down that Nazi Strasser and beat him to death with his own cane in a Berlin whorehouse. Good times. We do okay for a couple of old soldiers…
Well, here’s typing at you, kid. Look me up if you ever come through the old neighborhood again. Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, just remember—mine’s at 433 Blvd. de la Resistance.
As Time Goes By,
Subject: Fair Catherine!
My dearest Catherine, my love, my world, my second self:
Though our separation has been brief, as the turning seasons reckon, in my heart it has been an eternity. But let us be glad, for I bring good tidings. It is my intention to return to Wuthering Heights! Blessed have I been, with fortune and luck, in my short time abroad. I depart on the morrow, and ache to receive you again into my arms—Edgar Linton be hanged! Until that rapturous moment, I remain your faithful servant…
Subject: RE: Fair Catherine!
Heathcliff, you godammned son of a bitch! Stay away from me! I never want to see you again! Burn in hell!
Subject: FW: Fair Catherine!
Sorry about that, Heathcliff—that was actually Edgar. He figured out my password somehow and sent it from my account. You know how he gets. Anyhoo, I think it’s a splendid idea that you’re coming back. I’m sure the three of us can work this out together. You boys are always so serious—it’ll be fun, you’ll see! I can’t imagine events turning dark, wretched, tragic, or anything like that. Seeya soon!
Indiana, stop acting like a child! I’ve sent a dozen emails already, and left another dozen messages at your office. You still owe me five thousand dollars from the tavern fire, and I want my Ra medallion back, too. Be an adult for once in your life! C’mon, I’ll buy you a drink. You know, a drink?
And what’s this I hear about you and some princess?
// Marginal Utility
"The social-media companies have largely succeeded in persuading users of their platforms' neutrality. What we fail to see is that these new identities are no less contingent and dictated to us then the ones circumscribed by tradition; only now the constraints are imposed by for-profit companies in explicit service of gain.READ the article