Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Mystery: Anna Gade's Friend

This will be my most self-serving entry. It is entirely to do with an unsolved mystery in my personal life. When I started going to college at St. Cloud State University, MN, I was issued my first online account ever. I browsed the Web with Magellan, read my mail with Pine, and socialized on the "talkers" via Telnet. T3h k1dz will have no idea what I'm talking about.

I must've met new people through Usenet, probably some alt.soc.penpals group or another--long before these things were taken over by indolent and ignorant high school students too lazy to make their own private message boards--and I made many pen pals. I'm still in touch with my friend Hildegard in South Africa, after 15 years of acquaintance.

Someone must have found me on one of these pen pal groups and decided to mess with my head. Below is a section of a journal I wrote several years ago about my strange experience with this anonymous individual.

This was one of the strangest acquaintances I'd ever had in my life. And now, looking back on it, I know exactly what was going on and what I should've done to maintain it, but back then I was naive and unworldly and way too unconfident to play her little game. This was a young woman I know nothing about, borrowing her friend's email account. Her friend is named "Anna Gade", and she would borrow Anna's email account to chat people, like me. Again, she probably found one of my wordy, self-aggrandizing penpal solicitations, except she got my attention by being even more brilliant and culturally allusive, perhaps alluding to things that didn't really exist but with such cohesiveness and consistency that I believed they were real. She made herself out to be sitting on some straw mat, waiting painfully but patiently for my attention, as I breezed past her without any acknowledgement. Right there she had some pretty overblown perceptions about who I was - I must've totally misrepresented myself, for her to immediately portray herself in the vulnerable position of an inferior, longing for some icon's attention. And she played the victim card by advertising how intensely brilliant she herself was, and wasn't it a tragedy that I just never noticed. Meanwhile, I really thought this was someone in my physical environment, someone on campus, expressing a crush on me and, being as love-starved as I always am, have been, and will be, I ate it up. Here was a brilliant, cultured, literate woman singing her song for me and I was completely at a loss. Who was she? Where was she? You bet I kept my eyes open the following weeks. And again, I chased her off by needing to know too much about her, until one day she told me maybe two or three facts about herself (like being Anna's friend) and I never heard from her again. She just wanted to speak in allusions, she just wanted to tell a story with me. And once I knew that I wanted to tell the story too but for her the spell was broken, I was a wretched, mundane waste of carbon and she could have no more to do with me. I'm sure if she found this entry for her she would not consider saying a word to me, though she may be very distantly flattered to know she has not stopped running through my mind since our first contact. Hope that keeps you warm at night, Anna-Gade's-friend. Bitch. On the other hand, and this would be entirely in keeping with her character, she's probably forgotten about the whole mindfucking experience, doesn't remember me, doesn't remember talking to me at all, and wouldn't remember even if she found this page and read her entry. Wouldn't have any idea it applied to any segment or era of her life. I can see that happening too.

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