I Lost a Shoe Once.

weird, adj. 1. Involving or suggesting the supernatural; unearthly or uncanny: a weird sound; weird lights. 2. fantastic; bizarre: a weird getup. 3. archaic. concerned with or controlling fate or destiny.

It all started the summer before seventh grade. Back then, in the early days of the internet, I had a computer that booted from a floppy disk and had a primitive dialup connection: I would click on “connect,” and then the modem dialed the number, which was followed by a series of clicks and screams before the ever-familiar whoosh: I was online. I became an addict, overcome by the realization that there was a whole world outside of the medium-sized midwestern city where I lived. My romanticized images of mysterious strangers in my pre-adolescent mind kept me in front of the screen for hours.

I communicated with my pseudo-friends on bulletin boards, which are now called “forums.”…

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