(This is a redacted letter from my old tinyletter, scuffed out from archive.ph. When tinyletter shuttered, the announcement slipped away from me, and I felt a pang of loss and grief for the private tiny letters I had lost—and all her accompanying girlhood and past selves. I redacted this back to life because even now, I still resonate deeply with the girl.)

April 13 2015:

I live(d) on the internet. I mean, how wondrous and tortuous it must be to dedicate a whole life of emotions and thoughts to the world wide web— to read the girl I used to be and am still through these glaring screens. I crawl through my blogs — the public, the shared, and even the tiny ones residing in the secret nooks and crannies of the online world—and watch as the girl from before evolves right in front of my eye. Disconcerting to speak as if she were gone, as if some magic or online trick could make her disappear into the backlinks and piles of caches and cookies, for she never does.

It's as if I am cleaved into two (or three, or possibly more): every digital journal and outlet, every hastily made scrapbook, handmade gifts and handwritten journals, and scraps of notes and receipts bearing a persona of their own. The messy, unkempt pieces are coagulating into an unformed I. The split dichotomy between online and offline, the tension producing and emerging different faces and personas as and when I assume different mediums. Maybe to speak face-to-face, to confess, and to confide profusely is an admission of shared vulnerability. And I am not sure about you, but I have always felt afraid and recreant when it comes to unabashed and confessional writing and speaking. I don't know how people write so unabashedly on their social media platforms and their blogs for (imo) to read and write on these platforms is to always put yourself in a push-pull situation, to balance the thin thread of wanting to share vs. how much to share. Sometimes, it feels like a performance, customary and stale. Assuming that the very act of writing on social media involves a need and/or desire to share what you are thinking. I don't know. Maybe, this letter is an attempt to reconcile the innate human desire to share vs.. the performativity of doing so online.

So it's 2015 and here I am writing this two continents and time zones away. Funny how things change and remains the same. Funny how the shine and luster of New York City hallows out. Funny how the city where dreams are made makes you forget your real dream in the rainbow flurries of cotton candy dreams.

So hello there, my old friend.

It's been a while. I am sorry. I am never good with words, especially the spoken kind. But this will be an attempt. An e-letter as an ongoing sequel; a trail of breadcrumbs and footprints of my (recorded) life spent on the www.

P.S. I am sorry if we haven't connected for awhile. I am really bad at articulating my appreciation for your friendship and companionship. I do treasure whatever companionship we had, but I just don't know how to do so. It's a cyclical thing. You fear meeting because it's been a while since you met or talked, you don't meet, and then it exacerbates the distance further.

P.S. Hey, if you are reading this: you are initiated into the secret society—the actual performance. You can see this as a sequel to all the offline and online groups, cliques, informal pacts, and secret societies we or I have made in the past. It's like a Marauders' pledge, but better (when you believe so).