I found you online. It wasn’t easy. Your old email addresses were defunct, references to obscure 90s Seattle songs @earthlink and @juno. You probably never even listen to those songs, content with Nevermind and Superunknown like I am.

It never got to the point where I’d punch in my credit card number into one of those people finder websites that came up when I’d google your name. That seemed a river too far. So I’d poke around, late at night when curiosity and nostalgia take center stage. A directory site gave a lead, and brought me to a defunct Myspace page with a recognizable picture. I found you using your new last name. That’s fine — I have one too.

I didn’t say anything. What would I even say if I tried? Things didn’t end well, and no one would argue they shouldn’t have ended.

Now I know you’re online, and I check in sometimes on your blog and your tweets. You still love music, the more obscure the better (maybe you don’t even own Nevermind now). You have some of the same friends. You still make jokes with really funny ideas that don’t really work as well as they should.

You don’t have that name anymore, and you live alone, says your blog. Was there a divorce? Was the name always a ruse (like mine), a misdirect to avoid old mistakes (like me). I don’t think about checking in; I just frequently think what a bad idea it is to check in. What if I just followed you? Would you dm me back? What would we even say?

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