I feel like the internet is just Halloween expanded to forever and everywhere. I always loved Halloween because I hated myself for a very long time. Decades. And Halloween let me change who I was. Even if it was only for a few hours.
The internet is a digital costume and anyone can wear it and anyone can stitch it to fit their best or worst intentions.
But my costumes were never extravagant.
Even though I was a very early adopter of the internet (and even internet dating: I’m talking I was dating ladies from the internet as early as 1996), I never made up a persona. I never posted fake photos. I never lied about my age or my weight or my income or my education or my dick size or my height or my profession or my neighborhood. I never really pretended on the internet.
Or did I?
I played a guy who could talk to women. I played a guy who could ask a woman out on a date. I played a guy who could actually go out on the date with a woman. I even played a guy who could be physically intimate with a woman.
Those were all easy roles. But when it came to playing a guy who could be vulnerable with a woman or a guy who could actually be brave enough to be emotionally intimate with a woman, I could never remember my lines.
The internet is like a superman costume. Maybe you’re a jacked dude whose 6’5″ tall with a thick head of black hair. You might be the very spitting image of the man of steel. But that costume won’t let you fly. My costume got me into the dating game. But I could never fly. I could run pretty fast on the ground. I could take some leaps. But I could never leave the ground.
You see, expectations and depression and low self-esteem are very heavy. And I carried them in my pockets all the time while I met with scores and scores of ladies. You can’t fly with all the weight in your pockets.
I didn’t go into any of those dates thinking it was a foregone conclusion. I really believed in my heart of tiny, black hearts that THIS 127th time could be THE ONE. When I look back at it now, I realize I was the very definition of insanity. But I guess when you’re insane, you don’t know you are insane. Well, maybe you do. I don’t know. I was insane.
But I’m happily sane now if that word even means anything. I know now what I probably knew then but couldn’t acknowledge. I’m not cut out to pretend. I’ve never been a good actor. I’m not cut out to let my heart be exposed to another human. The armor around it has been growing and evolving since I was 7 years old. Could I strip it off? Maybe? I don’t know. But I’ve chosen not to.
It’s just funny to me to look back now on those thousands of hours and thousands of dollars and thousands of sad moments and thousands of shallow, fun moments. Was it all a waste of time? Did I have to go through it to come out new? I don’t know.
I don’t know much.
I don’t regret all that time I spent chasing those wild geese. Even if I did, there would be no fucking point. I don’t have a time machine.
The internet wasn’t Halloween forever for me. Eventually, I figured out I didn’t want to dress up anymore. Unlike MGMT, it is no longer time to pretend.
Internet. My old friend. My old wingman. My old nemesis. My old me. The internet of the past me is dead. Long live the internet of the present me!
Flying is overrated, anyway. I’m much better on solid ground.
Where should I go?