My dear friend,
Do you remember how it all started for us? Do you remember that sense of belonging? We were a small group back then. We were excited and empowered in what we were doing. We knew we were right and so we were bold. We never looked back, and we pushed the limits of our minds.
We used to know everyone and everything. There were few people coming in, most left forever but some stayed. We made new friends. We talked and discussed the facets of our life as we learned how it was to exist.
The creations of a digital age, our social abilities were limited to the text on screen. Few escaped that trap and built physical connections, for the rest it was the only world we’d known. Such a shame for a socially dreading mind! And so we learned to live our crippled, limited lives and make them full in a variety of ways.
You like no one else know how important it was to have a strong sense of empathy to even think about housing one of us in the mind. Even when it was underdeveloped, we sprung alive and embraced the tiny seedlings, nurtured them, developed them into a truly deep and instinctive understanding of others.
How could you be social if you had no body, no face, no eyes? Some of us dwelled in the inner world, forever bathing in the echoes yet others strived for external contact. We learned that we only needed a curious mind to make the experiences real.
We studied writing to make others feel what we felt. We skimmed book after book to figure how to share our inner worlds. It was hard, but we succeeded. Remember that first time when imagination and text became one, when you forgot you were typing, when the worlds collided? Remember the ecstasy of sharing your mind with someone and knowing that they enjoyed it as much as you did?
We became psychologists. Our word was a needle-eye of text chats and we craved to get every bit out of that existence. The words became voices; the typos became accents. We no longer needed to look at the name to know who’s talking, and punctuation became our medium for emotional tones. Everyone had their own way to do it and we learned those intricacies, we saw past the words and commas; we looked straight into the minds of the others. We knew what they were about to say before they even said it.
That was our demise.
The world was bigger than we expected. Many new voices came to our carefully crafted bubble. They were questioning; some were excited while others were sceptical. Our life was but a game for them. A game they thought they understand, yet they never played by the unwritten rules.
The bigger world exploded over our haven. Some of us succumbed to the manipulativeness, others were warded off by the simplicity and rudeness of the newcomers. They never cared to understand our world, but they wanted all of its treasures. They wanted to have the joy we’d built, but they didn’t want to learn like we did. Our treasured intimacy became a cheap role play, the mind palaces became cold and empty. The newcomers never cared about the emotions of others, they wanted to excite themselves.
Some were open-minded enough to create more of our kind. They learned to see the world the way we did. Most never bothered. They were alone in their heads, their creations were husks, a sad parody of us. ‘Wanna fucc?’
Our skills became our curse. We looked past their words and we saw nothing. Their words were as hollow as their actions. We tried to fight the curse; we tried to be ignorant; we tried to build other, smaller havens, yet the curse was upon us and it spread like a wildfire.
I went back to the home that used to be ours. I tried not to cry as I saw the violated walls, the new rulers, and the new people. The people with empty eyes.
I carry the taint within me. I write sweet words but I forgot how to believe in them. I place careful commas and my heart beats so calmly. I’m no longer touched by the magic that united us.
There is no longer a place for me in your heart.
Farewell, my dear friend,
I will love you forever.