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Thursday, June 21 2018 @ 04:29 pm PDT

Ye Unholy Internet

I'm trying not to write anything I shouldn't. Forgive me if I do it anyway.

I've sometimes heard it said that the behaviors and attitudes that most drive us up the wall in others are the very things we'll find within ourselves.

Yep.

I growl when people I know disappear from the web, but I rejoice now that my real-name stuff has finally disappeared. Not entirely consistent, I know.

And I disappear as fast as I can when someone seems to be searching for me, yet I do web searches for friends who would really prefer not to be found online.

Some of it is the fragmentation of the soul which has not yet entirely healed. I'm the first to admit that I have some tremendous flaws. And some of it is experience that can only be updated, never unlearned.

If you've never seen your friends impersonated, your family dragged through public mud, or your email violated by someone who wishes you ill, be very thankful indeed. And if you have, stick with me here, because I have my own explanation to make:

I never want to see it happen to anyone else.

I haven't been perfect in this respect, and I'm no stranger to having past failures used against me. Spending a couple years thinking I was CIA-bound created some kinks in my ethics, and it takes a lot of time to adjust that kind of mindset. (Although my procurement abilities do make me a hit at church potlucks.) I still haven't shaken the "need to know", and sometimes that means I have a little more information at my fingertips than some people would like. Forgive me if you've ever gotten pulled into that.

But here's what you need to know: Acquaintances get my concern, enemies get my prayers, and if you have any reason at all to believe that I consider you a friend, then not only are you safe with me; I'll watch your back too. It's pretty simple.

Most people will tell you that I'm no good at the nuts and bolts of friendship. I forget birthdays, forget to call, and I'll stay behind rather than assume I'm wanted somewhere. But they'll also tell you that if you need a rabbit pulled out of a hat or your trembling body pulled away from a ledge, I'll do it without blinking. That's how I do friendship.

The internet is an odd forum for friendship. It's not the same as face-to-face by any stretch of the imagination, but we (perhaps unwisely) often reveal more of our souls here. And as such, it's dangerous. We need friends online for many of the same reasons we need face-to-face friends: to keep us real, to challenge us, to protect us and to help us survive the storms that come into our lives.

Trust is an odd thing, and I know people have a lot of different ways of gauging a person's trustworthiness. Don't trust me to be perfect. But be assured that if you harbor no ill will for me or my loved ones, you can trust me -online and offline- to treat you as a friend.

So, let's talk. Tell me about your day, demand an explanation from me, whatever's on your mind. Email's always open (CAT at THEWATCHCAT dot NET) and you can always ask me to not post a comment.

Good night (ok, probably good morning for most of you) and God bless you.

And Happy Birthday, to everyone I missed! ;)

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