Where Did You Sleep Last Night?

>> January 2, 2011

My father is a technology freak. He likes to buy new gadgets, take them apart and peer into them deeply before finally proceeding to put them back together, on most ocassions with cello-tape. At home, I have strictly forbidden him from being seen within two metres from my laptop, in memory of my old one which he had decided to examine by shutting it down forever.
We once had a computer at home the motherboard of which had been fastened in the processor with brown masking tape. Everytime it rebooted, it would make a whirring noise which would stop upon tapping it three times. We even had a permanent empty lotion bottle kept at the desk used singularly for this purpose. Our first computer was one of those MS-DOS systems where could fiddle around in a black screen with random white lettering; and play pacman and digger in. Since my father strictly mandated computer time for everybody because he knew it would "change the world", we used to have weekly pacman tournaments with records of scores and knock-out tournaments.
Later, when Windows showed up, and then the internet; my  father hailed the latter like the inevitability that he had waited very long for. In my younger more impressionable days, I had taken after him and his love for computer technology, and fallen hopeless in love with the internet. I chatted online always beginning conversations with a/s/l, and almost always pretending to be 21/f/dxb, when I was but a measly thirteen. I researched for my geography project on Antarctica using AltaVista. The internet was fun. I grew four adorable outer-wordly pets in neopets.com, read and discovered a lot more than a girl my age should have, and basically grew up.
Once a bunch of us had decided to get e-mail addresses together in class. Upon returning home, I promptly switched on the modem, patiently waited through the mechanical faxing noise, and created a simple and straightforward address with my first and last names at Hotmail. The next day in class, one of my friends informed me that her address was inkyglider726@xxxx.com. I remember being utterly confused, because I didn't know what inky or glider or even 726 had anything to do with her or her name, but when I asked her she said that she thought it was cool and funky. I was, as I said before, easily impressionable, and spent a whole day worrying about why I hadn't thought of a creative and utterly nonsensical phrase that had nothing to do with me. My friend later changed her address to sweet_dudee456@xxxxx.com, and I have since learnt to make my peace with absurd e-mail addresses.
The internet was also deadly. My dad encouraged to me create as many spaces for me in the internet as I possibly could, and I had just discovered the concept of "homepages". I found a convenient server and made myself a homepage. I figured out some basic HTML, and downloaded images to upload them on the page, and basically created what remains the most embarassing tribute to my girlhood till today. I have most inconveniently forgotten the username and password to the page.
Everytime I google my name it pops up, sitting there snidely, mocking me silently; reminding me that my future will always be marred with that little bit of immortal virtual reality. That is when I need reminding why the internet is supposed to be a wonderful place.

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