I feel so extraordinary, something's got a hold on me,
I get this feeling I'm in motion, a certain sense of liberty...
The writeup under Shingles was the first thing I read on E2. I was intrigued. I kept reading. I read Notice Me. For days all I did was read. I read the invitation at the top of the screen. I could join. I could participate in the same shared electronic space these beautiful people did. I had no intention of posting anything. I know I have limitations and my family was brutally honest when I asked for their comments on things I had written.
Through the glass I saw a strange reflection, was that lonely woman really me?
I decided to join anyways. I read about the username and decided not to come up with one of my own. I borrowed someone else's idea and passed it off as my own. I wrote some ridiculous tripe and put it under my home node. I signed up for a mentor but I kept reading. I watched. I listened. I learned. I cried. I understood nothing.
Maybe I didn't treat you quite as good as I should
Maybe I didn't love you quite as often as I could
Maybe I didn't hold you all those lonely lonely times
And I guess I never told you I'm so happy that you're mine
I watched the catbox dynamic. Whenever someone said something I went to their homenode. I tried to learn as much about each individual person speaking as I could. I tried to go outside and say a few things. I was largely ignored and/or laughed at. Jokes and sarcasm sailed right over my head. I went to the Noders Nursery and sat in solitary abandonment. Left with nothing but time I kept reading the things that people had written. Some of it was so powerful I had to respond to it. I sent a few messages to people letting them know that their work was meaningful and appreciated. I got a message back from someone. I'm not as fragile as I think I am.
The things she said, the books she read, you think you know her...
So far I've counted six people who think that I've been a former user in the past. I believed what I read. Don't write about yourself. GTKY nodes are discouraged and I had read and seen enough to know that that was true. I had an opportunity to talk to someone. I found out there was gossip circulating but curiously no one had approached me with any of it. I was stunned.
Lost in dangling conversation. And the superficial lies.
I've thought several times about leaving but I came to the site to become a better writer and curiously enough the sarcastic softlinks at the bottom of my writeups have taught me more than the messages from Cool Man Eddie. Someone asked if I could ever consider the name Jasmine. Another user asked if I had pictures of myself. They found out I like to play Scrabble. Someone asked if I was a dentist.
If everyone's gonna fuck with me, I might as well be brave.
I see words that bleed across my screen. I hear people begging for attention. I read a home node that said: I want to die. I've seen new users being mocked. I see their writeups being nuked. I've been the brunt of jokes. One gentle user kindly informed me that Nova Scotia was a real place. Have you seen yourself in things that I've written?
Now there's nothing more important than the girl who broke my heart.
I think that new users should get an identifying symbol like the gods and editors have. I think new users should get a nominal number of votes and I think that their first couple of writeups should be posted to a safe haven node. I think that the focus should be on what they've written rather than the softlinks. New users should be assigned a mentor automatically and their writeups channeled through their mentor before going live. I'm sure all of these not so brilliant ideas have already occurred to many others and I've also read that the voting system is the topic of a user group. I can only hope that the change will be for the better.
Repulsive gargoyle who turns away but secretly, secretly yearns for heaven, secretly.
You don't know how upset you are until you start crying when someone hugs you in the catbox or drops you a private message. You put yourself on the line when you step into the catbox for the first time. I try and draw people out. I talk a lot but I try and direct comments towards specific users and the audience at large. I try to thank people for kindnesses. If I see unsavory behavior I try and admonish or redirect it. I'm not perfect either. I've said and done things that I shouldn't and I hope people can forgive me if I've offended them.
Feeling unknown and you're all alone
You're not alone. You're surrounded.
You're not alone. People are there for you.
Reach out and touch faith.
Lyrics provided by the following artists:
New Order, Mary Hopkins, The Pet Shop Boys, Cause and Effect, Simon & Garfunkel, Seafood, Chicago, I Love Math, The Phantom of the Opera and Depeche Mode.