Marooned!

So you can't survive without the Internet? Try living with nothing else.

9:15. I reconsider the cancellation of my ClubLove account.

11:00. It only gets worse: I'm entering my own name into search engines for kicks. I unearth the fact that my high school literary arts magazine is, horrifyingly, online.

[My father] turned his face to the window and stared into the sky, demanding rain and release...— Austin Bunn, Glyphs, 1991

11:15. I put myself to sleep, nostalgic for a world without cyberspace. A world like 1991.

Day 4

4:45 a.m. I can't get back to sleep, which has started to mean less and less to me since my waking hours are anything but waking. I go online. Girly-sounding has not returned— she's gone.

5:00. I can't believe the numbers of people up at this hour in Yahoo! chat. One of the largest rooms is mensuckingmen1, with 67 people. Jesus, this early? I encounter 17-year-old Graceroo in Lobby13. I ask her what she's doing up at 5 a.m. She tells me she lives in Malaysia, and hopes to marry an American boy one day.

6:15. I leave the apartment and walk to Prospect Park. I'm breaking the rules, but I can't help it. This test is over. I'm not sick exactly, but still definitely in need of a cure.

A calico cat brushes against my leg on the sidewalk. My first thought: What a small operating system. A page from the Times blows by me and it seems so foreign, like a relic. The sloughed-off skin of a slow-moving animal.

6:50. Dawn. The sky looks the color of my desktop. I vanish.


One of five articles in our Cyber feature.

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