The other day, out of curiosity, I went hunting for one of my very first web sites. I created it with a free service in 1998; most of those services were swallowed up, years later, by big tech companies, and all the sites within them held underwater until they expired. Somehow, though, not this one. I searched for the silly title I gave the site, and a single Google result was returned. The sad little web site I created nearly twenty-five years ago is still out there, still breathing, like something I abandoned on the side of the road. I clicked through its pages, chuckling to myself at all of the ambition I'd written there, and all of the boundaries I hadn't yet learned to reach past. Twenty-year-old me wrote feverishly there about his favorite movies and books, served up some unreadable—really, truly atrocious—poetry, and honestly believed other people would want to contribute their own work, too.
I spent a few minutes clicking around, and then it was too much, so I left that little web site there on the shoulder, stuck forever in its sad little moment.