September 20, 1998
It's Never Fallen Asleep On Me, Either.

The "dour, constipated" e-mail finally landed in my mailbox yesterday morning.

Titled simply "Thought you might find this interesting," it was a link to a website called "Ten Signs That You Are Addicted To The Internet." (Of course, the rocket scientist who wrote the piece refers you to his website in order to cure you of your *addiction.*  Sorta like holding an AA meeting in a TAVERN.)  I read the page without much interest or enthusiasm, and then I deleted it.  And then I wrote *Someone* a similarly terse reply ("Gosh, thanks!  Can I next look forward to the 'Ten Signs That You Are A Pathetic Romance Junkie' webpage? Or the 'Ten Signs That Your Apartment Looks Like It Was Hit By A Nuclear Missile' webpage?").  

And that was pretty much the extent of our e-mail correspondence for the weekend.

Thing is: I already know that I'm an Internet junkie. Of all the things I could be/will be addicted to in my lifetime,  the computer stuff seems the most benign, really.

The Internet has never scolded me for tossing my tea bags into the kitchen sink, for one thing.

Neither has it ever called me during my first day at a brand-new job and given me shit because I forgot to open the curtains before I left the apartment that morning.

The Internet has never snapped off the car radio in the middle of my favorite song (announcing that it's the "most annoying thing it has ever heard"), or forgotten to thank me when I use my last $1.50 in the universe to photocopy a stupid Wall Street Journal article for it at the public library, or thrown a hissy fit when I pinned a couple of photos to its fussy pristine bulletin board.

Come to think of it, the Internet has never accidentally *forgotten* to tell me it was married/separated/gay/involved with someone in Florida/entering the priesthood  ...  never shown up at my apartment on a Monday night expecting a quick roll in the hay for old times' sake  ... never called to tell me that "the wheels are in motion" and the divorce is finally gonna happen (just before it takes its wife to Paris for a second honeymoon) ... never fallen in love with all of the things I am, for better or for worse, and then immediately tried to CHANGE all of the things that I am. But these are different stories for a different day.)

It's not even 7:30 but I'm worn out already: all of this solitude, sobriety and self-pity are exhausting. I'm gonna take a magazine into the tub and spend a little quality time with Mr. Bubble, I believe. 

If the Internet were capable of scrubbing my back for me, I would probably invite it to join me.



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