I’m busy having revelations—thinking about my future and happiness, trying to act on both those things. It’s exciting and exhausting.
Even amidst myself, however, I’ve somehow found the time to notice a few other people recently. I’ll talk about one girl right now.
Every morning, I pass high school students carrying Starbucks cups on my walk to the train. There is this one girl I always notice in particular. She doesn’t have to be so tired, but she is. She does all her homework, but academics don’t exhaust her. She just doesn’t get enough sleep because she spends at least two hours every night having online conversations with this boy. She thinks it’s worth it and likes the look of arriving to school with a coffee in her hand. Nobody knows she gets a tall in a grande cup so she can fill it with milk and sugar.
The girl and this boy live three blocks apart and are generally on the same commuting-to-school schedule. I never see him; he walks to school with his lacrosse stick while she gets her coffee. She will pass him in the hallway. She’s generally not alone and most often not disengaged from a pressing conversation. They will dodge each other’s eyes.
At nine forty-five they start talking online. They’re probably still typing to each other right now. Their conversations are honest, but they’ll never be verbal. Their daytime relationship has nothing to do with social status. Her friends know little about their nighttime cyber-relationship and nothing about the content they type back and forth.
On her Facebook page, one of the girl’s likes is “The Internet.”