i’ve always been that kid

by mickharris

i’ve always been the kid who goes up to the other kid no one wants to talk to

not the big ones, the bullies that you whisper about

but the weirdoes, the ones sitting alone on the playground or talking to themselves or playing sullen-eyed and slow in the bushes while we shriek and tumble across the baking blacktop

and i would say hi my name is

what is yours

do you want to play with me

 

i’ve always been friends with them

(i didn’t realize i was one, a weirdo)

 

so when i join this thing, this “bar” where literary and media characters from all different sources can meet and talk and play i hear rumors, the ones you heard too when you were little

oh don’t talk to that person

ooh she’s weird

so i message her one night

tingling toes and fingers not really a portent but everything is, in hindsight

 

everything is strung together like paper chains and popcorn and shoelaces and embroidery floss knotted with careful dirty fingers

everything is connected

 

i have reams of conversations, of logs, of writing projects, of stories, of roleplaying sessions, of chats, of ims, of everything

i still remember the first message, the strange smiley she used that i’d never seen before

oh she says i made up my own because i don’t like the ones on AIM

i remember she was spare with words

i was not

hi i play jake it was nice to see todd in there tonight!

i’ve read apt pupil

it’s interesting that you play someone like him

 

it is interesting, isn’t it.

it still fucking is.

 

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