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When I first came to this site, sometime in 2002, I think this was already a nodeshell. If my beat-up memory is any guide, it was created by someone who then committed suicide and whose nodeshell was removed in an unrelated purge several years later. I can't forget it. Even if I make up a story I can't let it be forgotten. So I've resurrected it, because it lives on in my brain and so it deserves to live on here. But I've forgotten the author. This whole thing is one big betrayal.

I always come to e2 in a moment of weakness. When I first came here I was a fifteen year old living for a few months in Los Angeles, a semester in the middle of high school. I had a bulky monitor and desktop set up next to my bed and if I could have I would have never gotten up. It was a kind of depression I almost relish in retrospect, the kind that just refuses the outside world, gives up on any hope of solace or progress or human contact. I noded for a few years after that, but when I come back here it is never to read my old material. All I want is to touch the lonely fifteen year old I was, to say to him backwards through time that even though I'm now twice his age I still feel the same pangs, the same desire to write off the world.

There was always something about e2. It cultivated a sensibility that was, at its best, poetic without being corny, attentive to detail without being banal, lyrical without being navel-gazing. It introduced me to the lives of grown-ups going through breakups and moves and living lives in places I couldn't picture. It taught me that it was possible to live out our late-imperial pre-cataclysmic days as something like an epic, a narrative, a documentary, a poem. Someone's anxiety about money in a single long-ago moment burrowed deep within my brain, to the point that I remember it decades later. I'm so different from the child I was then. I'm on twitter all day long, I know writers and poets, I've written for highbrow publications. But on e2 these things felt like they were done by people and not abstractions. They still do.

Though there are live authors here, it still feels like exploring a city of the dead. So many of the writeups here date from 2000 and 2001, dotcom-bubble highpoints that seem today like ancient history. What happened to these people? What happened to prole, and ideath, and Interstellar Scrotum? Why do I care? Why do I haunt this museum like the ghost of its absentee caretaker? I sound absurdly melodramatic, vulnerable, when I talk this way but there is literally no one on the planet who can understand my connection to this site, the degree to which its language and its turns of phrase shaped the emotional contours of my relationship to the world. I could attach a pipelink to every word in this writeup but I won't. I'm beginning to think that nothing I think or say makes sense to anyone but me.

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