Everything2. The hidden holy grail, the forgotten heart of the internet. Fuck 4chan. Fuck tumblr. Fuck reddit and youtube and facebook. It's a decade since I first gained access to dial up internet and Windows 98 as a wide eyed and precocious nine year old. A decade since I entered everything's digital halls. After all the tales of internet predators, computer viruses and game addiction I never expected the first website I gained an interest in to be full of young, disaffected and invariably talented writers - the kind of person I longed to be.
It was with damp eyes that I watched everything's gradual descent into obscurity. Even as early as 2003 it was clear that new writeups and nodes were outnumbered by those from two or three years earlier, and that became truer and truer each subsequent year. 4chan appeared and suddenly the internet was a failed experiment in anarchy, then facebook appeared and it was just another facet of real life. I was often tempted to direct people here but was always eventually convinced against it by the unshakeable notion that no one new deserved access. Not even me. So, I lurked.
Meanwhile, I was growing up. I progressed in the usual way, eventually to become six feet tall and not unhandsome at a certain angle. I kissed people and slept with people and developed an affection for alcohol and cigarettes, along with a singular talent for scowling at things - all of which everything2 had told me about in advance. I graduated to the ranks of internet contributor with poorly maintained accounts in all the usual places for faux-nihilistic teenagers, then graduated high school, but it was everything2 I longed to march with. There was something in the minimalistic layout, in the masses of text and typewriter-style font and in the soul baring yet perfectly civil nature of the conversations that made me think it was what the internet always should have been. There was no flaming. No unnecessary pictures, so you could actually pay attention to what was written. No poorly parsed sentences or undivided paragraphs. Most of all, every single article was overwhelmingly, heartwrenchingly good. I didn't want to soil that loveliness with my half formed adolescent ramblings, so I stayed with my blogs. When I'm old enough, I told myself.
Now, finally, I feel like an adult. I may still wear my jeans a little too tight and have my hair in a soon-to-be regrettable mohawk, and occasionally still scowl at things, but something has changed in me, three months into my twentieth year. I finally feel mature. I think I'm finally ready for an everything2 account.