Welcome to the 6th floor.
Today’s contributors are: Ann, Sara, Tabitha, Frank, Billy and Scott.
Subject: Sara’s Soliloquy
Everyone’s sitting around eating dinner, spaghetti and meatballs, when Sara starts talking.
“Mhmm Mrrhagrm?” Scott mumbles, spaghetti dangling from his mouth.
“It really changes as you get older. When you’re young, you go on and everything is exciting and new but you don’t really get a full sense of just how big it is. You almost expect to run into people you know everywhere. The percentages go up if you are on local sites, but it’s still very unlikely. Yet you still think you’re going to run into classmates or friends in random places on the web.”
Sara pauses for a bite of meatball.
“Then you get a little older. You’ve dabbled in the place a lot. You’ve found blogs, and irc channels, and chat rooms and youtube and digg and all those ‘popular’ sites. You’ve learned that while you aren’t likely to run into random people you know in real life on the web, the people you do run into can become friends easily. You become a little egotistical in that you think you know everything.”
Sara takes a sip of her wine.
“You start to assume that if you haven’t heard about something, it probably didn’t happen. Or that it just isn’t important. You’ve added silly Internet catch phrases like ‘all your base are belong to us’ and ‘fail’ to your vocabulary, yet disdain others like Anime style smilies or l8r; dismissing the latter as AOL speak.”
Sara takes another sip of wine.
Tabitha glances at the empty wine bottle in the kitchen. “How much wine have you had already Sara?”
“I’m not done! Shh.”
“As time goes on and you’re still discovering new things, you start to realize just how vast the world, and the Internet, are. You learn just because a site doesn’t come up on digg or slashdot or your favorite portal site doesn’t mean that it’s not cool, or that it hasn’t been around and successful. You learn how easy it is for a new site or idea to come into being, take off, and suddenly be all the rave. You discover things that you never realized were there and scratch your head thinking ‘How did I not know about this?’ You become a web disciple, fully believing that if there is information to be had, you can find it on the web somewhere. You probably blog recreationally and contribute to Wikipedia by this point.”
Sara takes a sip of wine, and picks up her fork and spoon and begins eating again.
“Next week on ‘Life According to Sara’…”
Welcome to the 6th floor. Today’s contributors are: Ann, Sara, Tabitha
Subject: Sara and her friend Jack
It was 10:50 Tuesday night when I finally got concerned enough to call Sara. Usually she tries to get to bed by 11. I thought that maybe she’d gone out with some people from work and felt bad about leaving early to goto sleep, but it was getting late. I figured at least she could use the phone call to find an excuse to leave.
I dialed her cellphone and was greeted by the unmistakable roar of a bar in the background.
“Tabitha? Hey! What’s up!!”
“Sara? It’s 11pm, are you coming home? Where are you?”
“Relax Tabby! I just went out with my friend Julie from college.”
“Where is she now?”
“Oh probably asleep. She went home an hour ago.”
“And why aren’t you doing the same?”
“Because I’m having fun!”
I found out what bar she was at and then went and got Ann from the living room, who was playing Dr. Mario with Billy on our old NES, and the two of us decided that Sara probably shouldn’t be drunk and alone at a bar on a Tuesday night. We grabbed our coats and headed downtown to meet her, hoping she hadn’t left for another bar on a whim.
We arrived at the bar and went in, searching for Sara. We found her at the end of the bar, engaged in a discussion with a good-looking guy about ways to improve the subway system. He stuck around for a little while after we showed up, but soon he lost interest and we took his seat. Sara was still reluctant to leave so we made the hard choice of ordering something to drink.
After we’d been there a little while, Sara opened up a bit and explained why she was completely drunk at a bar on a weeknight. She had had a rough day at work, falling behind on one of her projects, and getting yelled at by her project manager. She tried to explain to us what the problem was, and why it was taking her longer than was expected, but we didn’t quite get the programming concepts she was outlining. In addition, she was pronouncing ‘class’ like ‘cwass’ and Ann, who apparently had forgotten to eat dinner while she was playing Dr. Mario and was finishing her second beer, giggled every time Sara mispronounced it. Ann joined in and complained about her job, and I just smiled and nodded. Sara started cheering up a bit after that, and we took to analyzing the rest of the people in the bar, trying to figure out what brought them here at this hour. There were the handful of college students, a couple of people who looked like they were probably here most nights, the guy Sara was talking to when we came in who Sara said works evenings in a warehouse nearby, a couple who we imagined were having an affair, and two people who had just walked in that looked like waiters.
It was almost 2am when we finally convinced Sara it was time to go home. I helped her down the subway steps as Ann was having enough trouble navigating them on her own, and we made our way back home. We gave Sara some water, and sent her to bed. Her last words before she crawled under her covers were, “Getting up is going to suck tomorrow.”
Frank, who was still up when she left for work tells me that while she looked miserable, she did manage to get ready for work and leave without stumbling, and that she did start to look a little better by the time she left. He told her to stop and get some coffee on the way, which I hope she did.