7.08.2013

Jake from Sigourney (NaBloPoMo #6)

In an effort to be more intentional about my writing and to really work on strengthening my skills, I'm participating in Blogher's NaBloPoMo for July.
The theme is CONNECT. 
Everyday, I'm going to write based on the prompts and share it here and on Blogher. 
I would love to hear any and all feedback from you


When I was in middle school, I was pretty much the last person I knew to get the internet. 
All my friends had AOL and email and chat rooms,
I had no idea what any of that meant.
Then, Santa delivered a new computer and dial-up internet to me and my sisters for Christmas my freshman year of high school.
I got myself an email and a chat name and was ready to explore the interwebs.
I was 'Starbaby17'. 

The obvious reasons being:
1. I love stars- it's my favorite shape. 
2. My photographer teacher always called me 'Baby' because somehow I ended up in her advanced photo class as a freshman.
3. My birthday is the 17th.

Honestly, I don't remember the details of how the chat room even works or how we found each other. 
Are there even still chatrooms? I should google that.

Anyway, one day, I met Jake from Sigourney.
He was about my age and from a town south east of mine in Iowa. 
He was 16 and worked at the Pizza Ranch. 
He wrote angsty, dark goth-like poems that had a lot of words outside my current vocabulary range.
Naturally, I thought he was awesome.

And because the internet was new and we were teenagers, we became pen pals and wrote each other letters filled with complaints about parents and talks of what new Doors albums we ordered off BMG (he was a big Jim Morrison fan). 
We also exchanged school pictures and I'm pretty sure I may have one of those along with his letters in my possession. 

After a few months of chatting on the interwebs, letter writing and a few phone calls, Jake of Sigourney asked if he could come visit. 
His mom gave him permission to drive the car to Des Moines and meet me face to face. 
He came over on a Saturday and met my mom and then she sent us off to Applebee's with her cell phone just in case we got lost.*

*Disclaimer: At the time, I thought it was the coolest thing- going on a day-time grown up date at age 15 with a kid, age 16 that I met off the internet.
Now, I think it's ridiculous and unsafe and probably not my mom's best parenting moment.
However, these were the days of internet naivety- pre-Craig's List killer. So just bear with me. 

We got lost on our way to Applebee's and had to call my mom for directions. When we arrived, we  ate chicken wraps with french fries and drank refillable Mountain Dews. We had awkward teenager conversation and shared a pilfered cigarette in the parking lot. Then he dropped me back off at home and drove back to his Southeast Iowa town. 

I'm not sure why we ever lost touch. If I knew his last name, I'd look him up on Facebook and interview him for the blog. 
Jake, the first person I ever met on the internet. 
Hope you are doing well Jake of Sigourney.