2023-07-30: ...what?!

i'm not really active on most social media; i got a facebook account early, before it was open to the public, because i remember one of the students in a class i ta'd inviting me. what can i say? it seemed exciting then. i never add anyone on facebook, and i still have hundreds of friends. i've added very few people. most of them added me, which i always find strange. i assume i leave no trace. i assume i slip out of everyone's life.

i never got into instagram: too pretty, too aspirational. i'm not hot, and i'm bad at taking pictures.

but a while ago i got a twitter account. the general feel of that site like smoking cigarettes outside high school. a hellsite, but my hellsite. twitter, mon amour.

the thing i like about twitter is i've got a very small handful of followers who know me irl. i think that number is five. typically high school friends. and for the last couple of of weeks i've been thinking about a particular exchange, which i won't post here and won't quote either (too easy to search), in which i was sort of shocked that someone's estimation of me was much, much higher than my own in a particular context. which is great (pleasantly surprising?), but also, i don't take for granted the fact that i'm writing this today. the last twenty-five years have been an effort to distance myself from particular dangers, only recently starting to talk about them again: to my partner, to my therapist, to my oldest online friend, and eventually to my family. i'm writing this under an alias. i'm circling around events, rather than naming them. google might be awful, but i'm under no illusions that it can still be used to find me. i don't underestimate people, not anymore.

a lot of days i wonder if i'm being paranoid, all this trying to throw people off my scent. and while it's incredibly likely that this is paranoia, my fears were, and i have to stress this, the result of past events, i don't take any chances. no real names is the first and most obvious, the one i should've done years and years ago. not even first names. nicknames. i was careless, and i was found. but then, you don't expect for people to go looking for you, do you? people out of the distant past — what was even then the distant past — who string together names, connections, old aliases, until they arrive in some corner of the web, looking at a homepage on their laptop or their phone, wondering if this malachite green could possibly be me.